Chemical blaze emergency workers to get special health checks

Emergency service workers who were involved in dealing with the fire at a chemical packaging plant in Moerdijk last week will undergo a special medical, Breda mayor Peter van der Velden told a news conference on Saturday.

In total, 12 police officers and 10 fire officers developed eye and breathing difficulties while tackling the blaze, which sent thick black smoke billowing into the atmosphere. They were taken to hospital but have since been allowed home, news agency ANP reported.
Van der Velden has also asked health minister Edith Schippers to order a health survey of people living close to the fire, the Telegraaf said.
However, environmental health doctor Henk Jans told the news conference that there are no risks to nearby residents.
Clean up
Local fire chief Gert-Jan Verhoeven said he expects the entire clean up operation to take up to two years.
Polluted ground must also be dug out and ‘we don’t know how deep we will have to dig,’ Verhoeven said.
Heavy concentrations of toxic chemicals have been found in the water used to put out the blaze. The run-off has been stored in ditches which will be drained within a few weeks.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation