Our industry area hosts the largest multi-emergency drill practiced in the Valencian Community
VALENCIA (EFE). The Valencian Agency for Security and Emergency Response of the Generalitat has carried out a large multi-emergency drill for chemical and radiological risk that has tested the response capacity of 20 organizations and 250 people in the industrial area of Almussafes (Valencia).
The exercise, which has led to the mobilization of these people for four hours in four simultaneous scenarios, is a stress test that is carried out as the last phase of the implementation process of the Emergency Plan for the Municipality’s Industrial Areas.
The drill began with a leak in one of the 2,000 m3 methanol tanks of a chemical company, which activated its internal emergency plan, evacuated the staff and notified the Generalitat’s Emergency Coordination Center. After the notice, 112 has mobilized the firefighters of the Valencia Consortium; the combustion of methanol has generated, simulated, a toxic cloud and a very virulent fire, for which reason the Consortium and the Emergency Coordination Center have requested the mobilization of the UME.
The Military Emergency Unit has worked together with the Valencia Fire Consortium and canine units in the area to rescue those trapped. At the same time, also as part of the drill, a leak occurred in a 20,000-litre sulfuric acid tank at a neighboring factory and the company activated its self-protection plan.
Resources from the UME, the Valencia Provincial Fire Brigade Consortium and the Municipal Service of the Valencia City Council have been mobilized to work together to contain the spill and stop the leak. As a third scenario, there has been a bush fire, which has forced the mobilization of the Fire Service and Forest Firefighters of the Generalitat and Forestry Brigades of the Provincial Council, while, finally, on road 5 of the Industrial Area there has been a dangerous goods accident occurred.
As a consequence of the accident, the driver and the co-driver have been injured and it has been necessary to carry out the rescue by the Consorcio de Bomberos de València and the health care by the Department of Health. In the simulated accident, a package was deposited on the road as a result of breaking the moorings to the vehicle platform and a dosimetric control of all the personnel on duty was carried out by specialized personnel from the National Security Council and the the Valencian Emergency Agency.
The regional Secretary for Security and Emergencies, José María Ángel, highlighted that multi-emergency drills such as the one on Wednesday “allow us to identify what to do and how to act in the event of an emergency, by simulating extreme scenarios that put our ability to anticipate to the test”. José María Ángel recalled that more than 20 organizations have participated in this multi-scenario simulation and highlighted the coordination of the different services involved in resolving an emergency as “essential”. “With these tests we prepare ourselves so that the Prevention, Fire Fighting and Rescue Services that must intervene in an emergency in the Industrial Area are aware of the existing risks”, explained Ángel. Likewise, it has considered “vital” that those responsible for the industries that carry out their activity are aware of the risks in their environment and adapt their Self-protection Plans to them”. The regional secretary added that in these circumstances it is also essential to communicate the emergency among all the industries in the area and to adopt protection measures for the population of the affected area.
The device deployed has been made up of several fire-engine vehicles, rescue and technological risk units, 15 local police patrols, the Civil Guard, the Generalitat Police, observers, emergency command and communications vehicles.