Happy sailing in a toxic trail

31 Aug 2012

MSC Flaminia
Press release # 9

PCB waste has burned in the fire following from the explosion of a container onboard MSC Flaminia on July 14th 2012 (see press release Robin De Bois, August 29, 2012). The fire raged for several days. The ship was then approximately 1800 km away from the English and French coasts. The burning of PCB generates dioxins that increased the overall toxicity of the emissions in the air and dispersed in the sea. (cf. introduction to the list of hazardous materials aboard MSC Flaminia). It is likely that the extinguishing waters inside the vessel contain PCB residues and dioxins mixed with other pollutants.

This accident is a new alarm. It confirms the danger of mass transportation of hazardous materials on containerships. MSC Flaminia came from Charleston in the United States. If the explosion and fire occurred in the port of Le Havre, the first port of call for the MSC Flaminia arriving in Europe, part of the city would have had to be evacuated especially since the terminal for containerships is backed by a stock of several million tonnes of hydrocarbon subject to the Seveso Directive supervision.

All precautions have been taken to ensure the progress of the convoy in the English Channel and the North Sea without another accident, yet Germany is still far away. In face of the incapacities of other European countries, it is now the only option.





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