Indiana plastics recycling plant caught on fire

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) detects asbestos and organic pollutants

Diana Butron

After the fire that lasted 2 days a judge declared the zone a public hazard. Up to 2,000 residents were evacuated and are waiting for information wether is safe to return home.

The chemicals detected in the aire were: Hydrogen cyanide, benzene, chlorine, carbon monxide and volitele organic compounds. Fine particles in smoke were found inside and outside the half-mile evacuation zone.

Officials of Richmond claim that they were aware the plant was a fire hazard and the mayor said tht the owner ignored a city order to clean the property.

The fire began in a semi trailer loaded with plastics and proceeded to expand through the surrounding piles of recycables and then reaching the builing, which was completely full of recycables.

It was found by the city panel that the facility was unsafe. In 2019 the owner of the plant was ordered to repair or demolish and vacte the properties by the city's building comission. In 2020, after the owner and his company petitioned an oreder for review, the judge ruled in favor of the city. In 2022 the city seized two of three parts of the parcels property after the owner failed to pay the property taxes.

    Smart S, Yan H., Wolfe E., Murphy P., Alvarado C., 2023, 04,14, Only hot spots and flare-ups are left of the Indiana plastics recycling plant fire. But residents’ health worries linger as EPA detects asbestos and organic pollutants, CNN,