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Nickel sulphide fire at Antwerp docks

A large fire that has been burning since Saturday afternoon has led to the municipal disaster plan being activated in the port of Antwerp. A load of 5,000 tonnes of nickel sulphide that is being stored in a warehouse has caught fire. Toxins have been released into the air. Fire fighters are gradually managing to get the fire under control.  

At first the Antwerp Fire Service had said that it was copper oxide that had caught fire. However, the service now says that it is nickel sulphide.

The fire has proved difficult to tackle. Both the Fire Service and Civil Defence Agency are at the scene in numbers. The fire service warns that substances have been released into the air that pose a danger for those in the immediate vicinity of the fire.  

A 2km cordon has been set up around the fire, closing the one of the main access roads to the docks, the Noorderlaan.

"It has been decided to evacuate ships and companies within a 1.8km radius of the incident”, an Antwerp police spokesperson to VRT News.

Smoke from the fire could cause odor issues in Ekeren, Stabroek and Kapellen.