According to witnesses, explosions were heard before thick black smoke began rising near Vatican City. Recent updates suggest that the fire took just place just outside of the Vatican Walls in a nearby neighborhood.
Reports are beginning to indicate that the black smoke near the Vatican is not due to an explosion or bombing, but rather due to a fire in Rome. At this time, the cause of the black smoke near the Vatican is unclear, although unconfirmed reports say the fire began at a nearby auto-salvage yard.
An eyewitness living nearby told The Mirror that the smoke looked to be coming from a neighborhood just behind the Vatican.
He said he saw smoke, “then a few minutes later there was a loud boom and more smoke”.
“I’ve heard lots of sirens,” he added.
“The smoke was drifting high over my apartment.”
It is unclear at this time where and how the fire originated, if there are any injuries, or what the extent of the damage is. However, reports indicate that the Pope is safe inside the Vatican.
Photos & Videos of the Vatican City Fire
About Vatican City
Vatican City is a walled enclave within the city of Rome. With an area of approximately 110 acres, and a population of 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population. However, formally it is not sovereign, with sovereignty being held by the Holy See, the only entity of public international law that has diplomatic relations with almost every country in the world.
It is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the Bishop of Rome – the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the Popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.
The name “Vatican” predates Christianity and comes from the Latin Mons Vaticanus, meaning Vatican Mount. The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields. It is in this territory that St. Peter’s Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel, and museums were built, along with various other buildings.
Within Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. As of 2015, Vatican City had a population of about 1000 people.