Safety testing after Napier fertiliser plant fire

Fire Service at the fire (Newshub.)
Fire Service at the fire (Newshub.)

Operations have resumed at a Napier fertiliser plant, after a large fire broke out in the Ravensdown facility on Thursday afternoon.

The fire started in the conveyor belt of a five-storey sulphur shed, before spreading. There was around 800 tonnes of sulphur in the facility.

The Fire Service was forced to be careful about how they controlled the fire, as when water is added to sulphur it forms a toxic and irritating sulphur dioxide gas.

"We were tactical about it and used spray instead of jets, as either way we had to use water to get rid of the fire," Hawke's Bay fire area commander Ken Cooper said.

Two firefighters were injured by the gas, and downwind residents were urged to close their windows and doors.

Overnight air testing showed air quality had returned to normal, and staff at the plant have returned to work.

The sulphur shed will now be assessed for damage to ensure it is safe for staff to enter.


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