Hanoi chairman urges relevant agencies quickly remedy Rang Dong fire

The light bulb factory that caught fire releasing toxic chemical fumes into the atmosphere late in August has been told that it must be relocated to the outskirts of Hanoi.

Hanoi chairman urges relevant agencies quickly remedy Rang Dong fire
Workers of Hòa Bình High-Tech Environment Joint Stock Company clean up at the scene of last month's fire. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng


Chairman of People’s Committee of Ha Noi Nguyễn Đức Chung ordered Rạng Đông Light Sources and Vacuum Flask JSC to find a new location.

He also tasked relevant agencies and sectors to urgently take measures to remedy environmental issues, triggered by a blaze occurred last month.

The move came after Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told Chung to closely work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to handle the case on Monday.

Chung sent an urgent message on Tuesday asking the city’s Police Department to hand over the scene of the blaze back to the company to collect and treat waste left by the fire and clean up the mess.

Chung told the company to transfer the waste to hazardous waste treatment facilities.

And he said the company had to work with the High Command of Chemicals under the Ministry of National Defence to immediately remove toxic substances from the scene and the affected area around the fire. The company must also pay all costs.

The city’s Health Department and the People’s Committee of Thanh Xuân District were asked to conduct free examinations for all children and teachers in local kindergartens in two wards of Hạ Đình and Thanh Xuận Trung.

The Natural Resources and Environment Department and the People’s Committee of Thanh Xuân District must supervise all activities and send a detailed report to the city administration, Chung said.

The report’s findings will then be made public.

Chung required the Hà Nội Drainage One Member Limited Company to clean up sewer and drainage systems around the company and finish before September 20.

Answering questions about why the city administration has yet to organise a press conference to additionally announce official information of the case so far, deputy head of the city’s Propaganda and Training Committee Trần Xuân Hà said the authorised agencies were further investigating. The city would make public any new information.

Hà said the city was doing all it could to remedy the fire’s consequences and help residents get their lives back to normal, making health concerns a priority.

Major General Phạm Văn Tỵ, deputy head of Rescue Department under the Ministry of National Defence said on Tuesday that all forces and vehicles were ready for remedying the fire’s consequences.

On August 28, a fire broke out at a light bulb warehouse owned by the company in Thanh Xuân District’s Hạ Đình Ward.

Although firefighters rushed to the scene to extinguish the fire, a third of the 6,000sq.m warehouse, with more than four million light bulbs, was destroyed. Losses were estimated at about VNĐ150 billion (US$6.4 million).

The fire has raised public concern over exposure to mercury, a toxic metal that is used in fluorescent lights, triggered by the fire.

On September 4, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Võ Tuấn Nhân told local media that 15.1-27.2kg of mercury has been leaked into the surrounding areas after the fire.

At a press conference on the same day, the Việt Nam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that the level of mercury found in the vicinity of the destroyed light bulb factory has been deemed safe to human health.

The administration still urged caution over possible adverse effects on the health of people living within a radius of 500m from the fences of the burnt warehouse.

Soldiers remove toxic substances at Rạng Đông burnt warehouse

 

The High Command of Chemicals under the Ministry of National Defence has started to remove toxic substances at the burnt-out warehouse of Rạng Đông Light Sources and Vacuum Flask JSC in Thanh Xuân District’s Hạ Đình Ward.

Hanoi chairman urges relevant agencies quickly remedy Rang Dong fire
Soldiers from The High Command of Chemicals under the Ministry of National Defence enter the burnt warehouse of Rạng Đông Light Sources and Vacuum Flask JSC to remove toxic substances on Thursday morning. —VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang


On Thursday, soldiers, staff from the Hà Nội’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Military Institute of Environmental Chemistry and the Urban Environment and Industrial JSC 10 (URENCO 10) began the clean-up.

Six military vehicles and army personal moved inside the warehouse, which was destroyed by a blaze on August 28. At about 9am, staff of the high command operated equipment to handle mercury vapours inside.

Meanwhile staff from the military institute took samples of dust at the scene.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Văn Bổng said the collection and treatment of toxic substances would be carried out quickly but carefully to ensure absolute safety. During the collection process, monitoring equipment would be used to supervise the spread of toxic chemicals.

Trần Trung Trưởng, deputy director of the company said relevant units worked out a detailed plan to remove the toxic substances.

The process would be strictly supervised by the High Command of Chemicals to guarantee a safe environment for local residents near warehouse, he said.

In a related movement, it is estimated that 1,776 people living in areas close by have been examined and received free heath advice. Of which, 843 people have been told to conduct intensive tests on mercury.

By Wednesday afternoon, the test results, conducted by the Institute of Occupational Health and Environment under the Ministry of Health, showed that there have been no cases of blood tests containing higher level of mercury than normal.

Trần Nhị Hà, deputy head of the city’s Department of Health said the department scheduled to provide free health check for the locals between September 6-12, but the timeframe would be extended if demand remained.

In another development, Hạ Đình Primary School, about 500m far from the burnt warehouse, has been operating as usual after test results showed the mercury level measured at the school was lower than the permitted level.

The fire at the light bulb warehouse owned by the company in Thanh Xuân District’s Hạ Đình Ward happened on August 28th.

Although firefighters rushed to the scene to extinguish the blaze, a third of the 6,000sq.m warehouse, with more than four million light bulbs, was destroyed. Losses were estimated at about VNĐ150 billion (US$6.4 million).

The fire has raised public concern over exposure to mercury, a toxic metal that is used in fluorescent lights, triggered by the fire.

On September 4, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Võ Tuấn Nhân told local media that 15.1-27.2kg of mercury has been leaked into the surrounding areas after the fire.

At a press conference on the same day, the Việt Nam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that the level of mercury found in the vicinity of the destroyed light bulb factory has been deemed safe to human health.

The administration still urged caution over possible adverse effects on the health of people living within a radius of 500m from the fences of the burnt warehouse.

Free medical checks-up for residents following Rang Dong fire

Free medical checks-up for residents following Rang Dong fire

People living around Rang Dong Light Source &Vacuum Flask JSC in Hanoi will get free medical examinations following the recent fire at the firm.

Mercury levels after Rang Dong fire deemed safe

Mercury levels after Rang Dong fire deemed safe

The level of mercury found in various samples collected in the vicinity of a destroyed light bulb factory in a densely-populated area of Hanoi has been deemed safe to human health, VN Environment Administration said yesterday.

VNS

 
 
 
 
 
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