Fire at Vellalore dump yard controlled following overnight operation

Updated - April 07, 2024 06:34 pm IST

Published - April 07, 2024 01:45 pm IST - COIMBATORE

Soldiers from the Madukkarai army camp in Coimbatore assisted in controlling the fire at Vellalore dumpyard on Saturday.

Soldiers from the Madukkarai army camp in Coimbatore assisted in controlling the fire at Vellalore dumpyard on Saturday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

After approximately 15 hours of concerted efforts from the Fire and Rescue services and water tankers provided by Erode, Tiruppur, and Coimbatore Corporations, along with support from the Madukkarai military camp, the fire at Vellalore dumpyard in Coimbatore was successfully subdued on Sunday.

As of 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, officials estimated that the fire had consumed 7-10 acres of landfill, containing legacy waste, and approximately 75 tonnes of waste had been burned. However, given the scale of the fire, it is anticipated that more waste might have been incinerated.

While officials at the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) are probing the cause of the fire, they suspect that the rapid spread may have been facilitated by the release of methane gas from the accumulated waste.

In addition to the force deployed, a quick reaction team of 20 army personnel, led by Lieutenant Rhythm Vashishth of the Madukkarai army camp, joined the operation. The district administration requested their services at around 10 p.m. on Saturday and they were on-site at 10.30 p.m. with a water bowser. The scene was chaotic as the fire had spread rapidly. By 5 a.m., the situation had considerably improved, reported the team.

According to the TNPCB, a ‘moderate’ AQI of 172 was recorded around 8.30 a.m., with a PM2.5 concentration measured 19.2 times more than the prescribed limits set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“We have set up 10 health camps in areas around the landfill to check if anyone has breathing or other smoke-related issues. Water is continuously being showered on the site to control smoke emitted from the site of fire. Further, water lorries have been stationed close-by as a precautionary measure,” CCMC Commissioner M. Sivaguru Prabhakaran said.

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