Brazil chemical fire explosion 14th January 2016.

03-02-2016

A chemical fire that started after an explosion at a cargo warehouse in Brazil has been put out after two days.

 

A chemical fire that started after an explosion at a cargo warehouse in Brazil has been put out after two days.

The fire in Santos spread toxic gas over the country's biggest port and across four cities.

The company owners said the containers were full of acid and a disinfectant which came into contact with rainwater, causing a reaction.

Reports say close to 200 people in three cities were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties.

Prosecutors are now investigating whether anyone is to blame for the fire, which more than 300 fire fighters battled at its peak.

The container terminal was operated by Localfrio, a logistics company, in Guaruja, a municipality on the eastern side of Santos, in Sao Paulo state.

A spokeswoman for the company, which exports chemicals used for refrigeration and general cargo, said the containers were filled with chloric acid and sodium dichloroisocyanurate - a cleaning and disinfectant agent.

Reports in Guaruja said 85 containers on the site were damaged.

Local mayor Maria Antonieta de Brito had asked people to stay out of the rain which could "contain chemical elements that can burn the skin".

Municipal officials declared that the fire is now under control, but the smoke is still permeating the area. Fire fighters are focusing on stopping the gas leak and have been trying to smother the fire without using water, since rainwater caused the explosion in the first place.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

Resources used:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-35336700

http://www.hngn.com/articles/170035/20160115/brazil-chemical-fire-releases-toxic-smoke-nations-latest-industry-related.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-fire-ports-idUSKCN0US2PS20160115

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