Up in smoke

by Donna Sealy

Attorney General offers comfort to Paul Bynoe, while cabinet collegue Donville Inniss looks on.
Attorney General offers comfort to Paul Bynoe, while cabinet collegue Donville Inniss looks on.

The livelihood of more than 50 workers was hanging in the balance today after fire broke out at the metal dump at B’s Recycling in Reece Road, Cane Garden this afternoon.

Tonnes and tonnes of scrap metal and tyres went up in smoke, as workers of the recycling company looked on powerless.

A few sheep and some banana trees were also claimed by the blaze that engulfed entire neighbourhoods downwind of it.

This evening at a press briefing at the scene, owner Paul Bynoe described the occasion as a sad one but noted “all the necessary people” were trying “to out this fire”.

With his head hung low, he said: “I’m very sad it had to be like this today”.

Incident Commander, senior police officer Bruce Rowe, flanked by Site Commander Chief Fire Officer, Wilfred Marshall, his Deputy Fire Chief Errol Maynard, Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Judy Thomas, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joy St. John, told the media that the fire was not under control and they had put all systems in place in relation to traffic and smoke as the country’s emergency management process was implemented.

The Accident and Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as well the Eunice Gibson, Brandford Taitt and Winston Scott polyclinics were said on standby, to treat any one with respiratory difficulties, said St. John.

She urged people and residents to minimise their exposure to the noxious smoke and suggested those people living in the affected areas, which include Melrose, Edghill, Padmore Village, and as far away as West Terrace, to leave.

The Fire Chief reported that the fire had been limited to the dump.

“We have extinguished all of the fires on the outside of the dump and our efforts now are focussed on getting into the dump. We might have to have bulldozer equipment to cut a way into the dump and then seek to cover it. “At this point we don’t think that the water would be of any use to it because of what is involved here; the only way we can control this is for the time being is by using covering material,” Marshall said.

Five vehicles were at the scene and more were on standby in the event that fires broke out in the vicinity.

MP Cynthia Forde said the smoke had affected “quite a number of communities” inclusive of Arthur’s Seat and some areas of Shop Hill.

She was pleased with the response of the emergency personnel and thanked them. donnasealy@barbadostoday.bb

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