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Chemical plant fire injures 15 in Italy

13 September 2022

A fire at a solvent recovery and hazardous waste disposal company near Milan, Italy injured at least six people on September 7. Around 100 firefighters responded to the blaze which happened at a plant belonging to Nitrochimica.

Image: Vigili del Fuoco
Image: Vigili del Fuoco

The Italian fire agency Vigili del Fuoco was called to the scene at around midday. By the middle of the afternoon, 12 teams were operating at the site in the San Giuliano Milanese municipality south of Milan.

The Nitrochimica plant reportedly stored thousands of litres of liquid solvents and chemicals. Six workers at the site were injured in the fire with three suffering from serious injuries. One of the injured was reported to be in a life-threatening condition. A total of 15 people were injured during the incident as smoke from the site began to spread.

According to newspaper reports, the smoke could be seen from around six miles (10km) away which led to local authorities ordering locals to stay indoors and close windows and doors until further notice.

Firefighters continued to battle the fire throughout the day, soaking the plant with extinguishing foam. Fire departments from surrounding areas were called in as backup. At around 18:30 local time, the Vigili del Fuoco said the blaze had finally been brought under control and that firefighters would remain at the scene to prevent further fires from breaking out.

The regional environmental protection service attended the scene to help firefighters prevent any chemicals from escaping the site. Local officials said that an investigation would be opened immediately to determine whether the fire was an accident or if there was negligence involved.

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