JUN 00] CRIMES, FIRES & ACCIDENTS
Keep Away From River Anker
were killed, and people warned to keep away from the river after
polluted water from a chemical factory leaked into a watercourse.
Environment Agency and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a
large fire on Tuesday night at Abbey Metal-Finishing Ltd's factory,
Weddington Road, Nuneaton.
service said a quarter of the building was lost to the fire and the
rest was badly damaged by smoke. Contaminated run-off from the water
used to extinguish the fire entered the River Anker.
service officers worked to minimise the amount of contaminated run-off
entering watercourses by blocking off drains and retaining what
run-off they could. Two fire-fighters were taken to hospital but were
Environment Agency officers were on site and monitored the situation
throughout the night.
tracked the pollution as it moved downstream towards Atherstone and
Polesworth, sampling the mass of the pollution or 'plug', which
contained several chemicals. All individuals and companies registered
by the Agency to remove water from the river were warned.
County Council issued a number of public broadcasts during the
morning, warning people to stay away from the river for recreational
activities such as fishing and swimming and local schools and other
agencies were also contacted.
fish were killed by the pollution near where the pollution entered the
river. Officers from the Environment Agency's Fisheries and Ecology
function visited the site during the day and carried out a full
environmental impact assessment.
'plug' contained a number of chemicals, including cyanide, but exact
quantities are not yet known and analysis is continuing. As it moves
downstream, the plug will be diluted continuously and full dispersal
is predicted by Friday morning.
Environment Agency's Environment Protection Manager for Upper Trent,
David Lowe, said:
the years, the Agency has built up a strong relationship with the
fire service. Tuesday’s successful operation was testament to this
relationship; combining the fire service's investment in pollution
control equipment; and the training and support supplied by the
worked together to minimise the environmental impact of the fire but
inevitably a limited amount of pollution occurred.
have been tracking and monitoring the pollution during the day and
we are confident that it is dispersing at a satisfactory rate. The
full make up of the pollution and further environmental impact, if
any, will be known later.
Agency is prepared to act if there are any signs of environmental
threat but at the moment the Agency's priority is to ensure that the
the Environment Agency and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service were
this week collaborating in a major conference in Warwick concerning
emergency planning for pollution events such as this.