Chemical blaze village had narrow escape

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Firemen in the Dutch town of Moerdijk are still putting out a huge blaze in a chemical plant which broke out on Wednesday. The fire is under control, but the fire fighters are having trouble getting close.

A cloud of black smoke rose from the fire and was dispersed in a northeasterly direction by the southerly winds. People in the area near the fire have been warned not to touch soot particles which were washed down by rainshowers during and after the fire. Privately grown vegetables should be shunned, and children and pets should avoid playing outside for the time being.

Initial tests have shown that quantities of toxic substances released were negligible.

No-one was injured in the fire, which destroyed the premises of a factory packaging and distributing chemicals, as well as a wharf producing ship screw propellors. Owing to the unusual direction of the wind, the 1200 inhabitants of Moerdijk village "had a miraculous narrow escape", according to Ad Vermeulen, speaking for a local interest group.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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