Asbestos alert issued after large Roermond fire

Roermond Mayor Peter Cammaert announced an emergency decree this morning because of the asbestos alert. This emergency decree follows the large fire that broke out last night.

Everyone in the area must follow the instructions of the emergency services. Residents in the affected area should continue to keep windows and doors closed. Emergency services may also instruct residents to remain indoors. Anyone who does not work or live in the affected area, should stay away. Roermond will open a special telephone number for people who have questions. The number will be announced later today.

The shops inside the restricted area will remain closed until 12:00 p.m. Two schools in the area will be closed all day, because they are virtually inaccessible. The fire department is hosing off all cars leaving the city. The Safety region urgently advises all people to avoid the center of Roermond to prevent the asbestos from spreading. The trains are riding, but are not stopping at the station of Roermond.

According to the municipality, the cleaning of the station and main roads are the main priority, to minimize the burden of travel restrictions. It is not clear how many people are affected or how long it will take before the measures are lifted.

The fire broke out last night in a winter storage for boats. Dozens of yachts went up in flames. The boats were in two hangars at the marina Het Steel. A lot of asbestos was released and the smoke moved towards the city. Initially the fire department thought that hazardous substance settled over an area of 500 meters, but that area was turned out to be much larger. "Exactly one half of the city of Roermond is affected" said a spokesmen of the Security Region. The cause of the fire is still unknown.