Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 13:29
Asbestos fears shut Dutch town after fire
Residents living near a paint and wallpaper warehouse in Wateringen, Zuid-Holland are advised to stay indoors after the warehouse burnt down late Monday night. Residents of two hundred houses should not go to school or work today because of the asbestos released in the fire, confirms Jaqueline den Brabander, the spokesperson for the Westland municipality told NRC. The municipality expects to need the whole day to clean up the asbestos. "We do not know how much asbestos has fallen from the fire" says the Mayor of Westland, Sjaak van der Tak. "An asbestos removal company is now cleaning the area, but the asbestos has spread to gardens and streets and we have to investigate the situation further." The citizens are advised to only leave their houses in case of an emergency. "Take a day off!" says the Mayor van der Tak. The firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to area homes. Housing in the area was evacuated, leading 36 people to take shelter in the town hall. It is still unclear how much asbestos was released into the air and where it has fallen. On an update at 11.30 a.m., the municipality informs that Prins Clausstraat and Prins Hendrikstraat are almost cleaned and the residents can use Ambachtsweg to return to their homes Tuesday evening. The municipality says that residents should only use the cleared areas and to avoid playgrounds. The cause of fire is currently being investigated.