Last week a tank at Gibraltar’s sullage plant exploded, an additional one, containing oil waste, burnt out. With the change of wind yesterday, water pollution was evident in Coaling Island. It has yet to be determined, whether this is a result of the explosion; due to bunkering; or even the activities of Algeciras' refinery.
In an article today, called "Booms Placed to Protect Marinas", the Gibraltar Chronicle wrote "Whatever the source, patches of thick oil could be seen in various parts of Gibraltar's coastline". The newspaper explained, that some of the oil is believed to be a direct result of last week's explosion, but that "there are also unconfirmed reports that merchant vessels may have flushed oily waste into the sea, using the fire to camouflage their actions."
Our charity hopes that the tests, which hopefully are being carried out to determine the source of the pollution, will be made public. This would help not only to identify possible culprits, but also be a general sign that those who - possibly carelessly - might harm our environment, won't get away with it.
Info: Explosion of Sullage Plant
Last Tuesday afternoon at around 3.40pm one of the four tanks of Gibraltar's sullage plant in North Mole exploded (source: Gibraltar Chronicle). The local emergency services at the scene were later assisted by Spanish services. A second tank caught fire, before the flames were brought under control at around 5am the next morning.
Two Spanish nationals were injured, both had been carrying out welding on the tanks at the time of the explosion. One of of the workers - rescued by a Gibralarian police man - is still in a critical condition. Twelve tourists from a cruise ship, berthed in the vicinity of the incident, also suffered minor injuries. Clean-up operations in Gibraltar and in neighbouring Algeciras were put into place afterwards, to catch the mixture of oil and water from the burnt out tank. The Gibraltar Government said that it has commissioned an inquiry regarding the incident and indicated that the plant will not be rebuilt at its original location.