(Bloomberg) – The South African Department of the Environment has sent a team to the eastern coastal city of Durban to try to help contain air and water pollution from a chemical plant that was set on fire during violent protests.
The factory, owned by Indian agrochemical company UPL Ltd., produces herbicides, fungicides and pesticides and is located in one of the areas hardest hit by days of riots and looting in KwaZulu province -Native. Residents, who were already struggling to get bread, milk and other basic necessities after the unrest, said they saw plumes of gray smoke near the facility site.
“We are deeply concerned about the environmental impact on air quality as well as on aquatic and marine ecosystems resulting from the fire at the UPL installation”, declared the Minister of Forests and Fisheries on Wednesday. and Environment, Barbara Creecy. “The priority at this stage is to ensure that the impacts are mitigated and that the containment measures are effective. “
The factory caught fire on July 12 and continued to burn for days. It was reported that the water flowing into a lagoon changed color and dead fish washed up. Nearby Indian Ocean beaches remain closed to the public.
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