Company execs fined, get community service in massive chemical fire
On Friday the court in Den Bosch sentenced three executives of collapsed chemical company Chemie-Pack to community service and suspended prison sentences for their part in a massive chemical fire at their company in 2011. The company will also have to pay a fine of 730 thousand euros, NU.nl reports. The court found the executives guilty of negligence and ruled that they acted carelessly. They are not, however, guilty of arson. "The storage of substances on in the outside area, significantly increased the extent and severity of the fire.", the court said. Chemie-Pack director Gerards Piering and the company's safety coordinator got suspended prison sentences of 6 months and 216 hours of community service. They're also banned from working in their professions for 2 years. The production manager was given a four months' suspended prison sentence and 162 hours of community services. This was the appeal in this case. The Public Prosecutor demanded four, three and two years in prison for the three suspects and a 1 million euros fine for the company. Chemie-Pack was hit with a massive fire in January 2011 in an area where hundreds of chemical-containing containers were stored. The fire started when an employee tried to thaw a frozen pump with a gas burner. The fire caused an estimated 70 million euros in damage and did large amounts of damage to the environment. Many people in the area also reported health problems. The company went bankrupt after the fire. Chemie-Pack and the government reached a settlement agreement in which the company would pay 4.2 million euros, and the government agreed to refrain from further damage claims.