The Bolloré Logistics industrial building is on fire, there is no “dangerous” air pollution.
The disaster was in a “very encouraging decline phase” Monday night at 11pm, according to the prefecture. The major fire that broke out Monday afternoon in an industrial building leased by Bolloré Logistics containing some 8,000 lithium batteries located in Grand-Couronne, south of Rouen, has so far not produced “significant concentrations of hazardous airborne products” assured the prefect. of Seine Maritime Pierre-André Durand, mentions: “Depending on the wind direction, populations can still smell burning.
The fire at this location, which is not classified as Seveso, and was evacuated in the afternoon, did not cause any casualties. The “two cells” that were hit by the fire, one of which housed a lithium battery and the other a tire, “collapsed, reducing the intensity of the fire,” the prefect said. He said that “137 firefighters were on duty” at around 10:00 pm, assisted by 60 vehicles and “tugs pumping water to extinguish car batteries and foam to extinguish tires”.
Limited population on Orival
The fire, declared at Bolloré Logistics at around 16:30 according to firefighters, then spread to a neighboring warehouse of the Districash group which contained “approximately 70,000 tires”. The first residents were just over 500 meters from the burning site, according to the prefect, who warned residents of “changeable winds during the night, with the possibility that the left bank of Rouen will be hit by the smell of burning but always without risk, without evacuation, without containment”.
However, the city of Orival, a few kilometers south of Grand-Couronne, asked its residents on Facebook to “remain confined, close windows and not go out under any circumstances”.
The prefect, however, assured that SDIS had taken air quality measurements that did not reveal “no need for population protection: hearth extinction would take hours but under the plume of smoke there was no danger, and no concern about Seine pollution”. According to Pierre-André Durand, “the only chemical risk comes from burning lithium which can release hydrofluoric acid, only in the heart of the furnace”, but this substance “does not exist offsite”.
Colonel Remy Weclawiak, deputy department director of SDIS76, who was present at his side, explained that “the smoke remained very high in the sky, there was good dispersal and readings near the site and a little beyond was found no carbon monoxide, hydrochloric acid or hydrocyanic acid, the level was zero.” He could not give an idea of the extent of the plume, which stretched southeast. “No regrets casualties, employees evacuated” from this location “subject to authorization and not Seveso” on the banks of the Seine river, according to the prefecture.
Contacted by AFP, Bolloré’s group said it had “set up a crisis unit with respect to the prefecture”, noting that there was “no information on the cause of the fire” at this stage, or the extent of the damage. According to the logistics provider, the warehouse “contains automotive components and lithium batteries. This site is subject to regulations regarding the storage of flammable products.
Located in the city of Grand-Couronne, this building was built about fifteen kilometers south of the city center of Rouen in a much cleaner location than the Lubrizol plant where 10,000 tons of chemicals had burned in serious smoke in September. 2019.