Fire breaks out at Ariyamangalam dump, again

Residents flee houses, shops down shutters; school closes as students complain of breathing problem

A major fire broke out at the Ariyamangalam dump yard on Tiruchi-Thanjavur highway on Tuesday, forcing residents of nearby colonies to flee for safety.

This is the third fire incident within a period of 10 days and fifth since January at the dump yard, which is spread over an area of 47 acres.

The Tuesday fire had broken out in the afternoon, hours after fire fighters wound up a day-long drive to control the fire. The fire, which was noticed on the eastern side of the dump, spread to garbage mounds in other parts of the yard within no time due to gusty winds blowing south-north direction. By the time the fire tenders from Tiruchi, Navalpattu and Srirangam arrived at the spot, the flames had spread to many other mounds.

Flames were visible even from a distance of one km. Dense cloud of white smoke was seen from a distance of several km. Several residents and traders, who were residing close to the dump yard, closed shutters and doors and hurriedly moved to safer areas in order to avoid exposing to obnoxious fumes. Since children faced breathing issues, a school at Ariyamangalam closed for the day well ahead of the schedule on Tuesday.

Visibility was poor and motorists had a tough time driving around Ariyamangalam and Keezha Kalkandarkottai. The impact was felt on Tiruchi-Thanjavur road too and motorists had to drive slowly due to low visibility.

“I opened my lathe in the morning after ensuring that the fire that broke out on Monday was put out. But, it broke out once again after a gap of 7 to 8 hours. We have no other option except to close the lathe for at least two days as we feel difficulty in breathing due to obnoxious fumes,” says T. Akbar, owner of a welding lathe at Ambikapuram.

He said that it had been recurring issue for many years. He had to close his lathe for 15 days due to unprecedented fire at the dump about three years ago. Residents of several residential colonies in Ariyamangalam and Kattur had been facing untold sufferings.

S. Jayalakshmi, another resident of Ambikapuram, said that she suffered a loss of about ₹5,000 on Monday as not many preferred to eat at her restaurant in the midst of toxic fumes. The entire food items had gone waste. It was the repeat of the same on Tuesday too.

Corporation officials said that fire tenders from Tiruchi, Srirangam, Navalpattu and BHEL were being engaged in fire-fighting operation.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 5:35:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/fire-breaks-out-at-ariyamangalam-dump-again/article28338946.ece

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