Fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at a household waste incineration plant on the banks of the Seine downstream from the massive Lubrizol chemical plant fire in September 2019.
At about 3:15 p.m., flames erupted in a 100-ton pile of waste at the SMEDAR Bulk Sorting Unit in Grand-Quevilly, France, south of Rouen. The pile generated flames three meters high and massive amounts of black smoke, France 3 television reports.
The plant is classified SEVESO low threshold. The European Union’s SEVESO Directive applies to 12,000 industrial establishments where dangerous substances are used or stored in large quantities.
Firefighters used three fire hoses and a water cannon rated at 6,000 liters per minute to battle the blaze. More than 60 firefighters were on scene at the height of the emergency.
Water was pumped from the Seine for firefighting. Once used, the runoff was collected to avoid any spread of pollution. Air quality was also closely monitored.
Responders extinguished the fire within two hours.