Prime Minister Édouard Philippe recognized in the evening of Monday 30 September in Rouen that the smells caused by the Lubrizol factory fire were "annoying" but "not harmful". "The smells that we feel [...] are indeed very disturbing, very painful to bear, [...] but they are not harmful, "he declared before the site, reaffirming his desire" absolute transparency "on the causes and consequences of the accident.
According to the head of government, who came in turn in Rouen after five members of the government, "the quality of the air in Rouen is not in question". "That's what scientists tell me, technicians tell me and I tend to listen to what scientists and technicians tell me when it comes to safety and risk management ", he added to the press.
>> To read also: "Fire in Rouen: Édouard Philippe promises 'total transparency', worries remain"
A complaint lodged by Lubrizol
Asked about the right of withdrawal exercised by teachers in several colleges of Rouen, the Prime Minister said "fully understand that it is difficult to teach in a class if a certain number of students are embarrassed by the smell" . "If [teachers] think this is the right thing to do, I hear their reaction," he said.
On the origin of the fire, Édouard Philippe said he had "no information to indicate what hypothesis would be right or wrong". For its part, Lubrizol group has lodged a complaint for "involuntary destruction" and said Monday that the origin of the fire would be "external" to the site.
The complaint, filed Saturday, aims at "involuntary destruction by explosion or fire by manifestly deliberate violation of a duty of security or prudence," said the prosecutor of the Republic of Rouen, Pascal Prache, to AFP.
"The origin of the fire is outside Lubrizol"
"Video surveillance and eyewitnesses indicate that the fire was first observed and reported outside the Lubrizol site in Rouen, suggesting that the origin of the fire is external to Lubrizol and that the fire is is unfortunately spread on our site, "said the group Monday in a statement. Samples had to be made from Monday in the Oise to "remove the doubt" about the possible presence of chemicals in crops, said the authorities, facing the concern of farmers.
"This afternoon, the veterinary services, the protection of populations and the regional directorate of agriculture will visit some forty municipalities of the Oise identified as having a presence of soot to collect samples of matter plant or dairy products that will be directed to a laboratory, "said Monday the prefect of the Oise, Louis Le Franc, at a press conference.
The authorities of Hauts-de-France banned, on Sunday, "as a precautionary measure" the harvesting of crops and foodstuffs of animal origin "until obtaining sanitary guarantees on the productions", in 94 municipalities located in four departments (North, Somme, Aisne, and Oise).
"We want to be sure that our products are healthy"
"The 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 Oise after a two-hour meeting in Beauvais with representatives of the agricultural world. The first results are expected in "about a week".
"We want to be sure that our products are healthy, but we especially want the agricultural world is not forgotten and that we are well compensated if we destroy our productions," insisted AFP Regis Desrumaux, Secretary General of the FDSEA of Oise. The Prime Minister is committed to "accompany" the farmers of Seine-Maritime and other regions affected by the consequences of the fire.
Rouen Normandy Metropole said Monday that the water distributed on the 71 communes of the community "is drinkable", after images of black or grayish tap water widely shared on social networks. "No trace of contamination was found," added the Metropolis in its statement.