Communication a disaster: Moerdijk crisis leader

The communication around the massive fire at chemicals packaging plant Chemie-Pack in Moerdijk was a disaster, but the actual firefighting was a success, says Breda’s mayor Peter van der Velden in an interview with the Telegraaf.

Van der Velden is in charge of the team set up to coordinate emergency action in the Mid and West Brabant area.
‘We had practised dealing with emergencies in simulated conditions,’ he told the paper, ‘but the reality is far more difficult.’
Van der Velden was only told about the fire five hours after it started, but says there was a proper procedure in place and he waited for a telephone call from his colleague in Moerdijk. ‘We shall be looking into this procedure,’ he said.
The national safety council is investigating how the fire started and the way in which it was tackled. But Van der Velden admits that communication also needs a thorough investigation.
‘The communication world has changed completely since we drew up our procedures,’ he told the Telegraaf.

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