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Nearly covered

Mike King

Nearly covered

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The smoke is still billowing at the Mangrove Landfill but the construction firm Williams Industries and the state-run Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) are conducting a round-the-clock mould-dumping campaign to contain the fire that started raging at the St Thomas dump on Saturday night.
Both Sir Charles Williams of Williams Industries and SSA general manager Stanton Alleyne reported yesterday that significant progress had been made over several hours and the crisis caused by the burning of thousands of tyres should be fully contained by Wednesday.
Alleyne apologised to the public for the inconvenience and promised an investigation.
“I would want to apologise for what has happened,” he said. “We have had thousands of tyres at the landfill for quite a while and we have looked at methods to get rid of them but we have not come to a final conclusion.
“We have done barriers, put all kinds of covers on the tyres, but the volume of tyres and the heat of the last days and the fact that they are on top of a landfill probably were the reason [for the fire], but there is going to be an investigation.”
Sir Charles told the DAILY?NATION his company was delighted to come to the rescue, spearheading the transport of mould to cover the burning tyres.
“It [the situation with the fire] is half of what it was when I got here in the morning [about 9 a.m. yesterday], so we are making good progress. Our role is to cover the fire and prevent combustion.”
A respiratory alert was given on Saturday night for those persons suffering from ailments such as asthma while the St James Central District Emergency Organisation opened two of its shelters at Good Shepherd and Welches Primary schools to facilitate people with breathing problems in nearby areas, such as Arch Hall.
Alleyne said this blaze was the most impactful and difficult one to contain.
Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall said it was a tough operation for the Barbados Fire Service because of the intense heat and the wide expanse to cover.
Arch Hall and Probyn Street stations despatched two water tenders and a 1 000-gallon water tanker on Saturday night – there was a water tender on standby yesterday – but the water had little effect on the thousands of burning tyres.