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PRESS RELEASE - 13 January, 2005

DON’T TELL US THERE IS NO DANGER…..
TWO HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATOR ACCIDENTS IN SEVEN WEEKS
One Explosion Leaves Man Dead – Other Fire Requires Evacuation of 1,500 People

Communities opposing the building of a hazardous waste incinerator in Cork Harbour were shocked to learn of a fire at a hazardous waste incineration plant in El Dorado, Arkansas (Sunday 2 Jan, 2005) which required the evacuation of 1,500 people living within a few miles of the plant. This accident comes hot on the heels of an explosion at another hazardous waste incinerator in Argentina (Campana, Argentina, 18 Nov, 2004).

The Argentina incinerator explosion was so serious that one operator died in the blast and five firemen were injured by the ensuing fireball that followed. The incinerator kiln exploded and immediately sparked off a massive fire which caused a huge black cloud of smoke, which could be seen from neighboring towns up to 25km away. A series of further explosions followed, and flames reached the highly flammable waste products and set them on fire.

Some 25 firefighters battled all day to extinguish the fire, requiring assistance by safety staff from the nearby Monsanto plant using their specialist Hazmat equipment on site. The fire destroyed the building housing the plant’s Incinerator kiln.

A CHASE spokesperson said “News of these accidents both alarms and angers us. Don’t tell us there is no danger, don’t tell us it couldn’t happen here. Accidents aren’t planned - they happen. These accidents, just seven weeks apart, bring home how dangerous incineration is, and how justified the concerns of the Cork people are.

The Ringaskiddy site is situated on a gas pipline, in close proximity to a number of Sevesco Plants, surrounded by towns and yards away from the Maritime College and the Naval Base. It is unthinkable what the outcome could be if a similar explosion happened on this site.

It would be criminal to proceed if there is even the smallest risk of an Argentina type explosion happening at Ringaskiddy.”

----- ENDS ----

For further information contact:

Linda FitzPatrick, CHASE PRO 021 4374506 087 7410849
Mary O’Leary, CHASE Chairperson, 021 4811952 Mobile 086 8177737

     

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email - info@chaseireland.org
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