The Lubrizol group filed a complaint Monday, September 30 for "involuntary destruction" after the explosion followed by an impressive fire at its chemical plant in Rouen in the night of Thursday to Friday. The group says on Monday that the origin of the fire would be "outside" the site. Édouard Philippe arrived in the evening in Rouen where the population is still worried.
Lubrizol said Monday he filed a complaint on Saturday for the " involuntary destruction by explosion or fire by deliberately deliberate violation of a duty of safety or prudence, " said the prosecutor of the Republic of Rouen, Pascal Prache.
" CCTV and eyewitnesses indicate that the fire was first observed and reported outside the Lubrizol Rouen site, suggesting that the fire originated outside Lubrizol and that the fire was unfortunately spread on our site, "said the group Monday, in a statement on its website. " We continue to support law enforcement for the purposes of the investigation to determine the origin and cause of the fire, " he adds.
According to the company, " the first indications are that outside the areas of dehulling and storage, the Rouen site was very little, if any, damaged ".
After several members of the government, the prime minister Édouard Philippe, who promised Sunday, " the total transparency " on this fire, went Monday evening on the industrial site, classified Seveso. " The smells we smell (...) are indeed very disturbing, very painful to bear, they can indeed cause a certain number of reactions but they are not harmful ", he declared before the site.
A cloud of 22 km long
The Lubrizol plant manufactures lubricant additives for engines and fuels. Their composition includes, in particular, sulfur and phosphorus derivatives with unpronounceable names, but the exact list of compounds has not been published for "safety reasons", according to the manufacturer. So we do not yet know the composition of the products that escaped in favor of the fire.
The fire of the factory caused a cloud of 22 km long and 6 wide, which went back to the north of France, to Belgium. In a village 200 km from Rouen, a mayor noted this week-end oil pollution residues in puddles. Samples were therefore taken in the Oise on Monday, to remove the doubt about the possible presence of chemicals in crops, and soot analyzes should be published from tomorrow.
The veterinary services, the protection of populations and the regional directorate of agriculture will go to about forty communes of the Oise identified as having a presence of soot to collect samples of plant matter or dairy products that will be oriented to a laboratory.
" Farmers are worried (...) The priority is to take these samples to remove the doubt. There may be heavy metals, dioxides, lead so the precautionary principle fully applies , "said the prefect of Oise at the end of a two-hour meeting in Beauvais with representatives of the world agricultural. The first results are expected in " about a week ".
Farmers who are victims of the pollution caused by the fire will benefit from cash advances to overcome the financial difficulties related to the decline of their activity, announced the Minister of Agriculture.
Following the fire, the prefect of Seine-Maritime assured Saturday that the air quality in the Rouen area was "normal" but that the authorities had decided to take health precautions, such as the freeze crops and crops.
Closed since Friday, schools have reopened this Monday morning, but many teachers of three colleges near the factory, inconvenienced by odors and worried, exercised their right of withdrawal.
And as long as the cause of the fire has not been clarified, the plant should remain closed.
► To read also: France: what do we know about the fire of the Lubrizol factory in Rouen?