A large fire at a nearby junkyard brought about fears of a bombing or an attack at the Vatican on Thursday.
There was initial confusion as to where the blaze originated, with some saying that it started within the walls of the Vatican and others saying they heard multiple loud explosions that accompanied the fire.
Massive clouds of thick, black smoke were seen billowing around the Vatican, and fears that there was something wrong at the religious landmark spread around social media.
But local media outlets clarified those social media accounts to say that the fire started at a car depot in Via Mattia Battistini in Rome.
Rai News reported that over 50 vehicles were involved in the fire after a series of explosions rocked the nearby area. Flames were seen erupting from a car that was inside of the demolition center, and the heat from the blaze caused an explosion of gas and other cars. It’s unclear if there were any injuries as a result of the fire.
The junkyard was noted as being “completely destroyed” by the fire, and traffic throughout the area was very slow moving. Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi arrived on the scene and monitored the situation, saying that officials were working with agencies to control the emissions from the fire into the atmosphere.
Witnesses said they could smell the strong odor coming from the fire.
The Vatican is the home of the Roman Catholic Church and is responsible for the governance of all members of the religion. It’s a 108 acre plot of land in Rome and serves as the home to Pope Francis.
Here are some photos and videos from the scene:
Huge Clouds of Smoke Were Observed
A Fire Department Released a Video of The Blaze
Nearby Residents Were Told to Close Their Windows
The Smoke Seen From Another Angle Shows It Indeed Started Outside of the Vatican Walls
People Heard the Explosions From the Junkyard