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January 6, 2011
Storage of Industrial Chemicals, Gone Rather Wrong
What do you have when a fire starts at a large chemical packing company, handling all sorts of oils, paints, coatings, and various industrial chemicals? Where they have hundreds of thousand-liter containers stored, surrounded by all the crates and packing material used to trans-ship them? You have this, at Chemie-Pack in the Netherlands yesterday:
And you have a black cloud that stretched across a significant part of the whole country:
Images are from Nufoto.nl, taken by people at the scene. A reader who lives 20km downwind writes me that he's been getting a pervasive smell of burnt plastic (which, he says, certainly makes a change). His main reason to be grateful is that this didn't spread to the Shell site nearby, which would have prompted an instant vacation to Germany. And then there are all the refineries 15 km to the west - if those ever go up, he tells me, "it'll look like the ending of Gulf War 1 - lowlands-style - with cows for camels".
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