Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan noted at a regular Cabinet meeting on September 4 that the fire had caused heavy losses and damage to the environment.
“We asked the Hanoi government to urge Rang Dong Company to relocate their facility instead of rebuilding it at the same location to prevent a recurrence of this incident,” Nhan remarked, adding that the city plans to have all factories moved out of residential areas.
Nhan pointed out that after the fire, the competent agencies had held several meetings to quantify the volume of materials and chemicals released into the atmosphere.
Test results showed that within a 200-meter radius of the fire, mercury levels were at an alarming level, adversely affecting people’s health, based on the World Health Organization’s standards, Nhan stressed.
One out of eight samples from the factory’s wastewater was contaminated with mercury. Moreover, 12 out of 13 sediment samples, mainly taken from the To Lich River, one kilometer away from the firm’s discharge drain, had mercury levels that exceeded the safety limit by 6.1 times.
This was an unsafe chemical fire, harming people’s health, polluting the environment and causing heavy losses, Nhan said.
Given the test results, the ministry asked Rang Dong Company to cover and isolate the burned areas to block the spread of the chemicals.
In addition, the firm was told to collect ashes from the fire and treat them according to environmental standards.
Residents living within a 500-meter radius of the fire were advised to take steps to protect their health and have regular medical exams.
The fire broke out at a warehouse owned by Rang Dong Light Source and Vacuum Flask JSC in Thanh Xuan Trung Ward of Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi City, at 6 p.m. on August 28.
After many hours of fighting the fire, the flames were finally put out, though much of the warehouse, measuring hundreds of square meters, had been destroyed.