• 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
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Competitors perform on stage during Israel's first Miss Trans beauty pageant last week. Photo: Menahem Kahana/Scanpix

Nation becomes the first in the world to officially no longer consider being transgender a mental illness.

Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg. Photo: Simon Læssøe/Scanpix

Following an EU ruling last month, the Danish government is fast-tracking new legislation that will put greater emphasis on children's ‘ability to integrate’.

After 1,000 years, ‘forgotten’ Danish Viking fortress opens
The 'forgotten' Viking fortress is one of five in Denmark. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

The historic discovery of a fifth Viking ring fortress was celebrated in grand style on Monday and will open to the public on Wednesday.

Danish royals: Only Prince Christian should get money
Only Prince Christian, shown here with his father Crown Prince Frederik at the opening of a revamped Skovshoved Marina, should expect taxpayer funding. Photo: Michael Bothager/Scanpix

Danish MPs may not need to decide which royal grandchildren to cut off financially after all.

American tourists flocking to Copenhagen
The number of overnight stays and international passengers are both up sharply in the first quarter of 2016. Photo:

American tourists flocking to Copenhagen

1 day ago

A number of new low-price flight options have given the Danish capital a major tourism boost.

My Danish Career
'I was fired from my first Danish job after nine days'
Henrik Cullen is a British-born expat who also holds Danish nationality. Photo: Juan Franco

In the latest instalment of My Danish Career, we spot with British-Danish 'local expat' Henrik Cullen who overcame a rough start to find success in Copenhagen.

Danish man gets stuck in museum chimney
Not the actual chimney. Photo: Adrian Scottow/Flickr

Maybe he just couldn't wait until the museum opened on Monday.

Denmark ready to cut off money to royal grandkids
Queen Margrethe and her eight grandchildren waving to well-wishers on the queens's birthday last month. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Scanpix 2016

Politicians appear ready to limit the number of Queen Margrethe’s grandchildren who get an annual salary from the state.

First service marks Battle of Jutland centenary
A memorial park to mark the world's largest naval battle that took place May 31, 1916 during World War will soon open in Denmark. Photo: Scanpix

Britain yesterday kicked off a week of commemorations marking one hundred years since the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War I.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen to Malmö. Photo: Colourbox

Dozens of attempts to cross the Øresund Bridge have been made, but this is the first successful crossing.

Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
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...
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
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
National
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
National
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Society
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
National
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
National
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
International
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
Culture
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Society
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
2,286
jobs available