USA: Major fire in recycling factory – fear of toxic smoke

danger to the population

Big fire in US recycling factory: fear of toxic smoke

Dirk Hautkapp

04/13/2023, 06:03

| Reading time: 2 minutes

Because of a large fire with toxic smoke, people in the small town of Richmond, Indiana, should get to safety.

Because of a large fire with toxic smoke, people in the small town of Richmond, Indiana, should get to safety.

Photo: Michael Conroy/AP

In Richmond, Indiana, the mayor accuses the owner of gross negligence in handling plastic waste.

The black puffs of smoke above Richmond in the US state of Indiana were so huge that they could even be captured by the cameras of the weather satellites. In the city of 35,000 east of Indianapolis, a 50,000 square meter recycling plant has been on fire since Tuesday. Trigger: previously unknown.

In a radius of around one kilometer around the scene of the accident, there were around 2000 residents evacuatedsaid fire chief Tim Brown. Those who live outside the danger zone are required not to go outside, turn off the air conditioning, close windows and keep pets outside the door. At least until the toxicity of the plastics that went up in flames has been determined beyond doubt.

Major fire in US recycling factory: asthma patients at risk

Christine Stinson, head of the local health department, called on journalists on Wednesday afternoon to increase Precautions on. “What is burning are very fine particles. When inhaled, they can cause a variety of breathing problems and aggravate asthma, for example.”

After the experience in East Palestine, four hours away, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) immediately launched inspectors. In February, dozens of freight cars carrying highly toxic chemicals derailed in neighboring Ohio. A number of residents complained of breathing difficulties, skin eczema and headaches.

The authorities only got involved after a good week, which Joe Biden’s government blamed as a mistake. This time, the President, who is currently on a state visit to Ireland, immediately telephoned Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (Republican). central government help to offer.

Fire probably only extinguished in days

Meanwhile, Richmond Mayor Dave Snow launched a massive attack on the owners of the property and the company that operates there. “There was a municipal order to clean the area, which was repeatedly not complied with. This is negligent and irresponsible.”

Fire chief Brown said in the evening that the fire was halfway under control. However, it would be a few days before the fire was completely extinguished.

Also interesting: Major fire in Hamburg – police give the all-clear

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