Truck containing drug waste catches fire in Eindhoven neighborhood

Firefighting_in_Russia_in_December_2010
Fire hose (Photo: Vitaliy Ragulin / Wikimedia Commons). (Fire hose (Photo: Vitaliy Ragulin / Wikimedia Commons))

A truck containing drug waste caught fire near an apartment building on Offenbachlaan in Eindhoven on Sunday morning. Twelve apartments were evacuated. The residents could only go back home around 10 hours later. On Saturday night, another truck was found leaking ecstasy waste on the same street, Brabants Dagblad report. 

The apartments were evacuated at around 6:30 a.m. Three hours later, the fire department was still busy extinguishing the fire. "The evacuation had to happen really quickly. Some were really outside in their bathrobes", a firefighter said to the newspaper. "We also had to move many cars, these would not do good against hydrochloric acid vapors."

After the fire was under control, some resident were allowed to go get some things out of their homes. They were then taken in by family or friends. The municipality also arranged for a community center to open for those who could not go visit family. 

Once the fire was extinguished, a specialized company was called in to do the cleanup. "Everything is contaminated by the extinguishing water", the firefighter said to Brabants Dagblad. Toxic vapors released by the fire were "diluted" with water, to limit harm to the environment. Residents were finally allowed to return to their homes at around 4:00 p.m.

The police spoke of a very dangerous situation, especially due to the hydrochloric acid vapors. "It is of course disturbed if someone does something like this so close to an apartment building", a spokesperson for the police said to the newspaper. 

At around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday the police received a report of liquid leaking from another truck on Offenbachlaan, around 200 meters away from where the fire happened on Sunday morning. When the fire brigade opened the truck, they found it full of barrels and jerry cans. Investigation showed that the substance leaking from the truck was ecstasy waste, according to the newspaper. The red liquid seeped onto the street and ran into the sewer. How much chemical waste was leaked is unknown. 

"You do not feel safe anymore", a local resident said to Brabants Dagblad. "I heard a bang around 6:00 a.m., from the truck's tires I think. At first I thought that the whole apartment building was on fire. How does someone like this not think about the residents of the apartment building? How are they supposed to get out? It's terrible."

A loud bang woke up another resident of the building. "At first I thought it was fireworks, but shortly thereafter I heard sirens. When I looked out of my attic window the truck was on fire", he said. "According to the police, this truck is from the same criminals as the other one full of drug waste. I think they felt caught when that was discovered and they decided to set this one on fire. Why else would you do that in the middle of a residential area?"

A police spokesperson told the newspaper that the investigation is still ongoing. "We have to be very careful because it concerns synthetic drug waste."

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