• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Danish ‘environmental catastrophe’ kept quiet
The fire led to mass evacuations but its full environmental impact was known for weeks. Photo: Colourbox

Danish ‘environmental catastrophe’ kept quiet

The Local · 26 Feb 2016, 13:32

Published: 26 Feb 2016 13:32 GMT+01:00

On February 3rd, a fire in the Fredericia Harbour caused nearby residents and businesses to be evacuated as flames and smoke spread through the area and officials feared an explosion. 
 
 
It has now been revealed that the fire also released huge amounts of dangerous materials into the area. 
 
“Several thousand tonnes of liquid fertilizer were released, some of which was collected in the harbour area. The silo containing the liquid fertilizer collapsed due to still unknown reasons and the fertlizer ran out with incredible speed and spread through the area. In the collapse, a neighbouring silo was damaged and palm oil ran out. The palm oil caught on fire,” Southeast Jutland Police spokesman Peter Balsgaard Nielsen said in a written statement to Metroxpress
 
Lisbet Ogstrup, a senior consultant at the Danish Society for Nature Conservation (Danmarks Naturfredningsforening), told the newspaper that the incident was an “environmental catastrophe” of historic proportions. 
 
“I can’t remember hearing about a single event in which so much [hazardous materials] were discharged at once. We risk an oxygen depletion in the area which would bring with it fish kills,” she told Metroxpress. 
 
It wasn’t until after the newspaper’s report on Thursday – 22 days after the fire – that the Environmental Protection Agency (Miljøstyrelsen), the Danish Nature Agency (Naturstyrelsen) or Fredericia Municipality released information about the leaks and their potential environmental impact. 
 
The long delay was criticized on Friday. 
 
“The residents should have without a doubt been given the information,” Mette Abildgaard of the Conservatives told Metroxpress. 
Story continues below…
 
Lisbeth Bech Poulsen called the three weeks of silence “disgusting”. 
 
“Of course residents should have been told – they move about there every day,” she told Metroxpress. 
 
An Environmental Protection Agency spokesman told the paper that it would now measure exactly how much liquid fertiliser and palm oil was released into the environment so it could determine “if there is a need to announce more information”.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
File photo of volunteers awaiting arriving migrants at Copenhagen Central Station. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Scanpix

UPDATED: A total of 79,600 kroner was seized from five Iranian nationals.

Roskilde Festival 2016
The Local's not-quite-live Roskilde 2016 blog
Young love, summer and Roskilde – could it be more beautiful? Photo: Bobby Anwar

We're posting updates all week as a field in Roskilde is temporarily turned in to the fourth largest city in Denmark.

Opinion
Stop trashing your city, Copenhagen residents!
This is not a garbage can! Photo: Louis Volpe

Denmark and its capital have a lot to be proud of, but the way residents treat the entire city like a rubbish bin is not one of them, writes American expat Louis Volpe.

Danish bankers eye Brexit cash-in
File photo: Vladimir Wrangel/Iris/Scanpix

Experts in the Danish finance industry have called for changes to tax laws so that Denmark can take advantage of a potential banking exodus from London following last week's Brexit vote.

Dejlige Days Welcome
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Learning Danish will open up personal and professional opportunities. Photo: william87/Iris/Scanpix

Relocation expert Melanie Haynes offers up her eight top reasons for why you should at least make an effort to learn the local language.

Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
Some 200,000 Danes living abroad could be impacted by the new rule. Photo: Iris

Danes and their foreign spouses will now have a much harder time living in Denmark.

Danish students and caps: What’s all the noise about?
Thousands of young students have taken to the streets of Denmark wearing their caps. Photo: Knud Erik Christensen/Colourbox

During the month of June, Danish towns are overtaken by jubilant young adults wearing assorted styles of graduation caps (studenterhuer). The Local brings you a guide to what the caps mean, their history and significance to the class of 2016.

Photo gallery
Devil horns up! A photo journey through Copenhell
Copenhell was completely sold out for the first time ever. Photo: Philip B. Hansen

The Local joined the headbanging masses at this year's Copenhell heavy metal festival to bring you this devilish photo report.

Roskilde Festival 2016
From Russia with love: Snowden addresses Roskilde
Snowden's broadcast address was watched by a large and enthusiastic crowd. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

Broadcast live from Moscow, whistleblower Edward Snowden was greeted like a rock star by the festival crowd.

Cage eggs soon to be a thing of the past in Denmark
Cage eggs are laid by hens that never see the light of day. Photo: Vi Ælsker Æg

Denmark’s largest retail company will stop selling eggs laid by cage chickens.

Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
2,269
jobs available