DUBLIN (Reuters) – A large fire broke out on Saturday at the southern Irish port of Cork, which recently started offering more direct sailings to mainland Europe to avoid post-Brexit customs arrangements.

The blaze began in a grain store at a deepwater berth used for freight services, the port authorities said on Twitter. Emergency Services were on site, it added.

“Local residents are advised to keep all doors and windows closed and remain indoors,” the statement said.

Images posted on social media by local residents showed a large cloud of black smoke coming from the port.

Ferry companies have increased direct freight services between Ireland and France in response to demand for an alternative route to the British “land-bridge” used by around 3,000 lorries each week to ship goods to and from mainland Europe.

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