Kochi: After Brahmapuram waste plant fire, Collector appeals people to stay at home due to smoke

Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 4 (ANI): As smoke is still coming out from the garbage dump after a fire broke out at the Brahmapuram waste plant on Thursday, the District collector has appealed to the people to stay in their homes.

Addressing a press conference, the Ernakulam District Collector Dr Renu Raj said, "The residents of Brahmapuram and nearby areas should avoid going out on Sunday as much as possible as the smoke cannot be controlled. Stay at home as much as possible. Shops and establishments shall be closed. This is as per the instructions of the Health Department Secretary"She said that although the fire has been brought under control, the smoke is rising from under the garbage dump. Vigorous efforts are ongoing to fully control it, and more fire units will be deployed for this purpose.

"The 100-acre landfill is being re-fired in six zones. Of these, fire brigade units are being used to put out fires in four areas, while units of the Navy and Cochin Refinery are being used in the remaining areas. Additional units of Cochin Port Trust and Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) will be deployed on Sunday in addition to the existing 27 units. Two big pumps will be brought from the Alappuzha district to pump water from the nearby river. It has also been decided to provide small diesel pumps," she said.

The District Collector also said that the changing direction of the wind also affects the operation of units, which causes more smoke to rise from the garbage dump.

"Earlier, a system was prepared to spray water from the Navy’s helicopter. But although this was initially effective, the fire brigade could not work from below due to rising smoke. Hence, the water-based fire-fighting in the helicopter has been suspended for the time being, and will be used if needed," she added.

She said that the officials have also been instructed to prepare the primary healthcare centres and hospitals as a precautionary measure.

"The district medical officer has been instructed to prepare nearby primary health centres, private hospitals and general hospitals for seeking treatment in case of health problems of nearby residents or fire-fighting personnel. Also, Oxygen Kiosk will be started in Brahmapuram. No major health issues have been reported so far. This is a precautionary measure," she further said.

Earlier on Thursday, a fire broke out at the Brahmapuram waste plant at Kochi, which is yet to be doused.

Following the incident, the rescue operation was started under which over 5000 litres of water were sprayed in active fire zones.

In addition to the defence fire tenders on the ground, aerial firefighting is also being carried out using large Area Aerial Liquid Dispersal Eqpt by naval ALH, the Southern Naval Command said.

Kochi Mayor Anil Kumar said that the authority is aiming to bring the fire under control by this evening.

"Due to the ongoing problem of fire, it has not been possible to remove the garbage in Kochi city and many other areas. This morning there is a smoke problem in some areas of Kochi. Our aim is to bring the fire under control by this evening. The Navy is also at the scene since last night," he said. (ANI)