Antwerp recovers after toxic gas scare
5 March 2004
BRUSSELS – Residents living near to the port of Antwerp were allowed to return home on Friday after being evacuated following a toxic gas alert.
People living in the Antwerp suburb of Ekeren were the last of over 3,000 people who were given permission to return to their homes after being evacuated by the emergency services and forced to spend the night in makeshift shelters.
The alert was sparked on Thursday afternoon when a tanker lorry carrying bromide, a highly poisonous substance, overturned near the port of Antwerp.
The bromide flowed into a local river, the Schijn, and also formed a large cloud of toxic gas.
The emergency services immediately warned local resident and office workers to close their doors and windows, then proceeded to evacuate around 3, 000 local residents.
Some 25 people were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties after the accident although no one was seriously injured, the local authorities said.
The public prosecutors office in Antwerp has ordered an inquiry into the accident.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news