Fire in Rouen in 2019: Lubrizol again indicted for environmental damage

Almost two years after the huge fire in Rouen, and after a first indictment in 2020, the Lubrizol company was again indicted on Tuesday for environmental damage, Agence France-Presse (AFP) learned. Thursday, September 16, from a judicial source, confirming information from 76 news.

“The Lubrizol company was indicted on September 14 on charges of dumping harmful substances into water and discharging substances harmful to fish into fresh water”, confirmed this judicial source. “The file is very solid concerning these two new facts, it is based on numerous samples and analyzes in the dock. [bassin sur la Seine proche de l’usine], with enough elements to speak of acute toxicity, it affects fish but it is also risky for humans ”, declared Simon de Carvalho, who chairs the Association of the victims of Lubrizol (ASL), civil party.

The president of the ASL applauds this new indictment. “It shows that the investigation is progressing. But it also shows that there was indeed an acute pollution, contrary to everything we have been told so far “, he said to 76 news. “It’s a satisfaction, our associations never stop trying to prove that there is pollution”, added Christophe Holleville, secretary of the Union of victims of Lubrizol. Asked by AFP, the company Lubrizol and its lawyer did not wish to react.

10,000 tonnes of chemicals

During this huge fire, which occurred on September 26, 2019 at the Seveso-classified high-threshold automotive lubricants site of Lubrizol, nearly 10,000 tonnes of chemicals had burned, while an immense cloud of black smoke 22 km long s ‘was formed.

Lubrizol has been under the control of American billionaire Warren Buffett since 2011, via his holding company Berkshire Hathaway, which bought the group for $ 9.7 billion. The company was indicted for the first time on February 24, 2020, already for “Discharge of harmful substances” but also for “Non-compliant operation of a classified installation” causing environmental damage.

Read also Lubrizol fire: the indictment of the company confirmed by the Paris Court of Appeal

The company was criticized “For not having taken all measures to prevent the significant spread of the fire and the resulting environmental damage”, had specified a source close to the file. Placed under judicial supervision, the group had to pay a bond of 375,000 euros and set up a “Security” of 4 million euros aimed at repairing “Human and environmental damage” possibly attributable to the fire.

The fire caused no casualties. The Normandie Logistique company, whose warehouses adjoining the Lubrizol plant had also been destroyed by the incident, had for its part been placed under the intermediary status of assisted witness.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Rouen, “one year later, we have not forgotten” the fire in Lubrizol

The World with AFP

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