Environmentalists in Gibraltar concerned over ‘disturbing’ fire at CEPSA oil refinery

LAST UPDATED: 1 Oct, 2011 @ 09:29
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Environmentalists in Gibraltar concerned over ‘disturbing’ fire at CEPSA oil refinery

AN environmental lobby group in Gibraltar has condemned fire at the CEPSA oil refinery in San Roque as ‘disturbing.’

In particular the Environmental Safety Group voiced their concerns over a lack of official protocol for sharing information between the two border nations.

In a strongly worded statement the group revealed they were alerted after the refinery ‘began showing signs of trouble’ at 1pm last week.

“At what was reported as a fire at a fuel storage containment area, heavy black smoke produced by the large flames could be seen as far away as Marbella prompting concerns both sides of the border,” it said.

CEPSA later confirmed that the blaze was rated at a level one emergency and had been extinguished in 15 minutes with no injuries.

“The smoke emitted did not affect the environment or any people,” explained a spokesman who confirmed an investigation is taking place.

But the ESG, which was flooded with calls from concerned citizens, insisted the subsequent heavy flaring at the plant signalled its troubles ‘were far from over’.

“This incident highlights once again the lack of an official protocol for information exchange between Gibraltar and Spain to quickly and effectively disseminate updates on serious accidents which can have regional impacts on people and the environment,” the group added.

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