Firefighters battle big blaze at Athens cookware factory

Fire rages at a cookware factory burns in Athens

ATHENS (Reuters) -Dozens of firefighters were battling a blaze at a cookware factory in Athens on Wednesday that sent thick plumes of black smoke into the air, the fire service said.

The cause of the fire shortly after 3:30 pm was not immediately known, but state broadcaster ERT reported there had been an explosion.

There were no reports of people trapped inside the factory in the suburb of Kifisia, a spokesperson for the fire service said.

Rolls of melted plastic where seen inside the factory.

Greece's civil protection authority warned residents of nearby areas to stay indoors to protect themselves from the fumes as a dense cloud spread over the capital's northern suburbs.

A firefighting helicopter was trying to douse the flames, assisted by 15 trucks and 45 firefighters on the ground.

(Reporting by Stelios Misinas, Karolina Tagaris and Renee Maltezou; Editing by Edward McAllister and Bill Berkrot)