City covered in smoke

Firemen at the New England Road landfill site that has been on fire since Thursday night

A massive fire at the Msunduzi New England landfill site has left the city covered in clouds of smoke from early on Friday morning.

The municipality has confirmed that it could possibly take three days to extinguish the fire and has warned that the smoke could possibly be toxic.

The fire that has been burning since late on Thursday evening has been attended to by the fire department that now has the fire under control.

A visit to the dumpsite this morning showed that despite poor visibility and thick smoke bellowing out of the landfill site – it was business as usual for the scavengers and garbage trucks while firefighters attempted to put out the last flames.

The smoke at the dumpsite is so thick that one is barely able to breathe coupled with the normal stench emanating from the dump.

The thick smoke throughout the city is as a result from the fire being put out and is exacerbated by the City’s position in a basin.

While St Charles College and St John’s Diocesan School for Girls took a decision to close their schools on Thursday evening, others schools, in proximity to the dumpsite have also since closed.

Msunduzi acting communications manager S Hlongwa said it was not clear how the fire started or when it will be completely extinguished.

“The Msunduzi Municipality Fire Department together with local Fire Fighting Services is leading a process of extinguishing the fire. Dense smoke and wind conditions have made difficult to completely extinguish the fire yesterday but it is expected that the process of completely dousing off the fire on site will take three days.

“The cause of the fire is unknown. It is currently impossible to give estimates of the damage caused but we can confirm that currently no lives have been lost,”said Hlongwa.

He said schools in the vicinity of the site were notified on Thursday as “fumes could be toxic”.

“There are high levels of smoke expected as the fire is being extinguished but it will clear. The Msunduzi Municipality would like to apologise for the inconveniences and even possible damage caused by the fire in the New England Road Landfill site,”said Hlongwa.

 

 

  AUTHOR
Maritzburg sun reporter

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