Plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles across the capital on Thursday afternoon (16 February) after a fire erupted at a scrapyard in east London.

More than 50 firefighters and eight fire engines were called to Bidder Street in Canning Town at about 2.50pm.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) advised the public to "avoid the area if possible" and to keep windows and doors closed.

A worker at T & N Hill Waste Services, a scrap metal yard in Bidder Street, told IBTimes UK the fire had started in one of its yards, but said the cause was not yet known.

An LFB spokesperson said: "Eight fire engines and 58 firefighters and officers have been called to a fire at a scrapyard in Bidder Street, Canning Town.

"The Brigade's control officers have taken 12 999 calls in the early stages of the fire.

"The Brigade was called at 1452. Fire crews from Plaistow, Poplar, Millwall, Shadwell, Whitechapel and other nearby fire stations are at the scene.

"The cause of the fire is currently unknown."

In 2012, thousands of homes were left without power when a fire tore through a goods yard in neighbouring Wharf Street.