Video: 20,000 pigs die in devastating Dutch farm fire

Close to 20,000 pigs have died in a devastating fire on a Dutch farm near the village of Erichem in the province of Gelderland, according to a local publication.

The fire began on Thursday, July 27; it took multiple units of the local fire service to get the blaze under control, Omroep Gelderland reports.

The smoke that was emitted from the fire could reportedly be seen up to 20 miles away. Local residents and people in the area were asked to remain indoors and close all windows and doors.

People in the area were also reportedly asked not to touch any soot particles, due to fears it may contain asbestos.

It took a number of hours for the fire service to bring the blaze under control.

Extensive damage was caused to the sheds, though no person is believed to have been injured in the incident. How the fire started is as of yet unknown, but local police are investigating.

The fire allegedly broke out in the barn where the pigs were kept; no animals are expected to have survived the blaze.

According to local reports, this is the second major fire to occur in a Dutch factory farm in the space of a month. Earlier this month, approximately 80,000 chickens died in a similar fire.

The standard of the barns, in relation to fire safety, where the pigs are kept has come in for criticism in local media following the fire.

This is believed to be the largest number of pigs killed in a fire ever recorded in the Netherlands.