Major fire breaks out at plastic dumping yard at Kalamassery

The fire that broke out at the plastic dumping site of the municipality at north Kalamassery on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire that broke out at the plastic dumping site of the municipality at north Kalamassery on Tuesday afternoon.

A major fire broke out at the plastic dumping site of the Kalamassery Municipality in north Kalamassery on Tuesday afternoon.

The incident occurred around 3.30 p.m. as the fire spread over the vast heaps of plastic waste dumped at the collection yard of the civic body. Nearly seven fire tender units were pressed into service to contain the fire. Thick plumes of black smoke billowed over the plant and firefighting operations were hampered as the smoke and fire spread quickly from one heap of waste to another.

“We were facing a major challenge to ensure full control as the fire continued from the heaps owing to the likely presence of inflammable gas in it,” said K. K. Shiju, Regional Fire Officer, Ernakulam.

The delay in arranging an earth remover to break the chain of the waste heaps lying close to one another affected the firefighting operations. Despite repeated requests, the municipality authorities were not able to deploy it at the site even after two hours of the incident. A. K. Nishad, chairman of the Health Standing Committee, blamed the CPI(M)-led Opposition of delaying the council’s recommendation to rent out an earth remover for use in case of an emergency. “However, we are trying our best to arrange one at the site without delay,” he said.

The municipality authorities alleged that the government’s Clean Kerala Company, which was entrusted with the task of collecting the waste from the dumping yard, had delayed it.

However, the officials of the Clean Kerala Company denied the allegation while stating that they had already shifted about 400 to 500 tonnes after signing the agreement with the municipality in December. Moreover, the municipality authorities were yet to provide a clear picture on the exact quantity of plastic waste lying at the site till now, they said.

The officials of the State Pollution Control Board, who rushed to the site, pointed out that monitoring turned tough owing to the heavy smoke and fire. There were chances of methane type inflammable gas formation in the waste heaps, resulting in the fire. Other reasons, if any, have not yet been ascertained, they said.

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Printable version | May 28, 2022 7:44:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/major-fire-breaks-out-at-kalamassery-plastic-dumping-yard/article38287947.ece