Three firefighters have been injured, including one seriously, while putting out a fire at the plastics storage facility of the Drava International company just outside the eastern city of Osijek, the Croatian Fire Service said on Wednesday.
The fire broke out shortly after midnight and its cause has not been established yet. The firefighters who were on site during the night and in the morning have been replaced and subjected to a preventive medical examination.
Fire chief Slavko Tucakovic said that 180 firefighters and 82 fire trucks were currently on site, predicting that the fire would remain active throughout the day.
“There is a great danger because the ground plastic is burning. This is the third time there has been a fire here in the past ten years or so. The measures that should have been taken here were not taken. The owner is responsible for everything that is inside the fence. The causes of the fire, as well as the circumstances that led to this large and unprecedented fire, need to be established,” Tucakovic said.
Mayor: Air and water quality is ‘satisfactory’
Osijek Mayor Ivan Radic said that the quality of air and water in Osijek are satisfactory, with local schools working normally.
After touring the site of the fire, the mayor said that water testing at the city’s water management company as well as at the wastewater processing plant had been stepped up, and that workers who were at the company at the time of the incident had been accommodated at one of the city’s sport halls.
Radic called for investigating how it was possible to have disposed of plastic waste on the company’s premises for years, noting that last night’s fire now posed a threat to the quality of air in Osijek-Baranja County.
Local firefighting commander Goran Ivkovic said that in his 30-year-long career he had never seen a fire of such intensity as last night’s.