No toxins found in fire on Saba landfill

Emergency services were still busy controlling the fire at the sanitary landfill at Fort Bay on Thursday, which caused a huge amount of smoke on Tuesday.

During the fire heavy smoke dispersed and spread to St. John’s and The Bottom. Residents of both neighbouring villages were advised to close all windows and to remain indoors as a precautionary measure.

The smoke was considered harmful, but no specific toxins were measured in the smoke released from the burn, the Island Government said in a statement Thursday. The Fire Department took measures at St. John’s to establish possible toxicity of the smoke and the results were that there were no specific toxins found, it was stated.

Members of the Saba branch of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department were busy controlling the burn, which has diminished “quite a bit” since Wednesday, it was stated.

Later on Thursday water was again put on the burn at the landfill. Some smoke was expected but not in significant amounts, Government Information Services (GIS) said.

According to GIS, persons have dumped waste on top of the fire at the landfill, which was temporarily closed to the public from Tuesday. “We urgently advise that persons refrain from this action, as currently the burn is under control, but if more debris is added this could change the situation,” GIS said in a Facebook message.

Cistern owners on Saba were advised to use a filter system when drinking cistern water due to smoke in the air. Residents were advised “If you have any concerns about drinking the water you can also use bottled water as an alternative.”

On Wednesday, GIS stated it would keep the public updated via its Facebook page and the Diasterprep App, however, the app appeared not to be working. GIS says the problem has now been solved and the public would receive updates on the app in the future. No statements have yet been made about the cause of the fire.

The Daily Herald.

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