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Fire at processing plant belonging to Friosur, in Puerto Chacabuco. (Photo: Bomberos de Chile Facebook)

Friosur plant fire forces evacuation of Puerto Chacabuco inhabitants

  (CHILE, 11/7/2016)

A chemical fire at a processing plant of Friosur forced the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) to declare red alert in the town of Puerto Chacabuco, Aysen region, in early hours today.

The fire began shortly after midnight in the storage facilities of the plant with combustible material and toxic material, which was consumed and generated a toxic cloud as well as a series of explosions.

All units of the fire brigade had to be used and it was also necessary to seek support from Coyhaique.

Due to the severity of the incident caused by the emission of ammonia, it was ordered that local residents had to be transferred to the town of Puerto Aysen, about 12 kilometers away.

According to a report issued at 6:00 pm today by the Administration of the Aysen Region, firefighters reported that the fire at the processing plant belonging to Friosur was 100 per cent controlled.

The report stated that a leak of ammonia had been detected, but it would be a safety valve "that is fully controllable".

A third report issued at 7.30 am on the current situation details that the yellow alert has been declared in Puerto Chacabuco and that initial measurements establish that there is no ammonia presence in the sector.

However, the preventive evacuation is maintained until the structural-industrial fire is completely extinguished, and the port is maintained without ships being docked.

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