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Inferno at recycling plant

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  A firefighter tackles the blaze at its height. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

A firefighter tackles the blaze at its height. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

A firefighter tackles the blaze at its height. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

THREE units of Dublin Fire Brigade are continuing to fight the blaze that destroyed a large part of the Oxigen recycling plant in Ballymount at the weekend.

Traffic restrictions remain in place as fire officers and gardai try to establish the cause of the fire which sent plumes of smoke over the city.

The fire broke out at around 3am on Saturday. Tonnes of recycled paper, cardboard and plastic continued to burn today, and while the fire was under control Dublin Fire Brigade said it could be some time before it is completely extinguished.

"There are currently three water pumps on site and the fire has now been restricted to two separate piles of material inside the factory," a fire spokesman told the Herald.

"The smoke plume has also been significantly reduced as the quantity of burning material is under control, but there is still a fire to be dampened down," he added.

Dublin Fire Brigade say it could be days before the blaze is brought under control and fears are growing for the jobs of 75 personnel employed there.

Gardai said Ballymount Road and Avenue remained closed today with only local access into Merrywell Industrial Estate, Clondalkin.

Access into the Estate was from Turnpike Road only, and there was local access only on Ballymount Road for Panda, Galco, Kelkin and Fastway.

Cllr Eamon Walsh (FF) called for enquiries into the response to the blaze. He said the potential effects of toxins on the soil and water was something the EPA and Department of the Environment should monitor.

"There has been a mention of the possibility of asbestos being in the building and that is very worrying," he said.

 

Resources

"There are questions to be asked about what safety measures have been deployed. Do the fire services have adequate resources to cope and was the delay in extinguishing the fire par for the course?"

Dublin Fire Brigade said the blaze had been brought under control from mid-afternoon on Sunday, and homes and other premises in the area were not in danger.

This is the second blaze at the plant; work stopped for a few days after a fire in 2012.

The damage is said to be limited to the dry recycling processing plant and the garage. Around 75 people are employed in these two areas. Company spokesman Martin Harrell said: "I would hope to God all will [be redeployed] but there is no way all will be saved. We will do everything in our power to save as many as possible."

He said other companies in the waste recycling industry sector might also be approached to see if they can take on staff.

Lower Ballymount Road will be closed until Wednesday.

hnews@herald.ie


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