Truck carrying agricultural poison caught fire in Franschhoek, Cape Town

CICA South Africa

Truck carrying agricultural poison caught fire in Franschhoek, Cape Town
Truck carrying agricultural poison caught fire in Franschhoek, Cape Town

Last Monday, September 5, a truck carrying highly hazardous and dangerous Agricultural Poison caught fire on the Franschhoek Pass after a wheel bearing seized. Watch the video.

The Pass was closed immediately. Hazmat and Fire Brigade teams were dispatched to the area.

The Fire caused the chemicals to explode and spontaneously combust. The Fire Brigade used copious amounts of water, washing the remainder of the damaged load onto the surface of the pass & into the storm water system.

Spill-Tech was contracted to sort out the mess. It seems like a catchment ditch was dug to catch run-off.

Without trying to sow Panic, I am deeply concerned about this disaster. These are some of my concerns:

1. This happened at the worst possible spot in the worst conditions. The photos attached show numerous farm dams which lie directly in line downstream from the explosion. It was also raining while the truck was burning. This must have caused the smoke from the burning poisons to condense & precipitate.

2. It seems like this incident is being kept quiet. Rumors abound, yet no list of chemicals involved has been made public. The smell of Dursban / Chlorpyrifos is overwhelming at the site. I’ve also heard that the truck carried pre-emergent herbicides. If this is the case we have a potential long-term disaster on our hands.

3. The Farmers of Bo-Hoek who are downstream from the site are typically fruit & wine farmers, exporting mostly to Europe. They have very strict regulations regarding environmental safety & sustainability to adhere to. Residues of banned chemicals can not only cause a farmer’s entire shipment to be rejected, but also cast doubt on the entire local industry.

4. As far as I know none of these farmers have been notified of any possible risks. Nor have the local Agricultural Society been notified.

I don’t think that now is the time for apathy. A wait-and-see attitude is too risky in this case.
This is one of those instances where I’d rather be safe than sorry, if it is not too late already.

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