The Tanneries boiler room in Lingolsheim. January 22, 2020 - G. Varela / 20 Minutes
- An episode of grouped legionellosis cases in the west of Strasbourg affected 24 people, two of whom died between November 1 and December 12.
- A boiler in the collective biomass boiler in the Tanneries district in Lingolsheim (Bas-Rhin) is the source of this contamination. It has since been shut down and has been cleaned and disinfected.
- Local residents deplore the lack of information received during the crisis, some are still not reassured and have lost confidence, the prefecture gives answers.
"I'm on the alert, I don't know who we can really believe" explains Catherine, a fifty-something resident in the eco-district of the Tanneries in Lingolsheim (Bas-Rhin). A district located as close as possible to the collective biomass boiler room and one of the boilers of which is at the origin of a grouped case of legionellosis. Between November 1 and December 12, 24 people contracted the disease in the west of Strasbourg, two of them died. If "the episode of grouped cases is closed" explains the prefecture, some residents still wonder and regret not having been sufficiently informed during the crisis. 20 Minutes takes stock.
A4 sheets taped to sections of buildings in the Tanneries district demand the "right to know". On a door, one of the trustees tries to explain on a small poster, what is legionellosis, the people concerned and the procedure to follow. In vain, the fears remain and the explanations seem "confused" or "too long, too technical to read". Mohammed, a high school student who lives in the neighborhood, seems at the end of January always little (or badly) informed: "I know, it's in the water, don't drink it, it's written in my building. We only drink water from stores. ” False information, however, explained in the syndic's little press release.
Christophe, a 30-something man from a neighboring building, remains cautious: "Is legionellosis in the neighborhood really finished?" We were informed, but after it happened. At the beginning we saw that only on social networks. So there were false rumors, like for water, everyone said anything and I was afraid. "When I saw this on social media, I called the town hall," says Catherine. I was told there was no problem with the water and I was referred to another number. I don't know how it went with other donors, but we knew absolutely nothing about what we should do. "
Wait for analysis results
Solicited by 20 Minutes , the prefecture explains that it issued several press releases from the start of the crisis to inform the population. She worked to reassure residents about the quality of tap water. All health professionals were alerted to the situation on November 19.
How then to explain such a “discreet” communication? "Pending the results of analyzes, it was not possible to formally identify the source of contamination and therefore refine the communication on a particular sector, says the prefecture, knowing that, whatever or, legionella can be transported according to weather conditions and winds for up to 10 km. "
Results finally arrived on January 3 and were communicated in the process. One of the Tanneries boiler rooms, stopped as of December 12 as a precaution, was indeed at the origin of the episode of legionellosis. No case has been reported since that date. "There was no longer any need to give instructions to the population of the sector, the risks having been averted for three weeks", adds the prefecture. Today, the part of the boiler room concerned has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. An emergency order has been issued by the prefect, who conditions its restarting to control, prevention and surveillance measures.
A lack of information at the height of the crisis, which however leaves a bitter taste among many residents of the Tanneries district. "We continue to live like that. It is a total lack of respect, ”laments Catherine.
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- Public health