George Healy, Deputy Chief of the New York City’s Fire department, who was consulted by the Ernakulam district collector has said that the measures taken by the Kochi administration to douse the fire at the Brahmapuram waste plant were on right track.
Interacting with the Ernakulam district collector, N.S.K. Umesh, Kerala Disaster Management Authority Member Secretary, Shekar Kuriakose and other professionals, Healy said that extreme caution and vigil was necessary in areas where the fire has already been put out.
The US professional said that the firefighting operations should be concentrated in areas where fire has already not been put out and called upon the authorities to make it certain that fire fighting equipment was always kept ready for any requirement.
He said that Class A foam should be used over the smouldering garbage in the inner reaches where water cannot be transported. George Haley also suggested the usage of drones fitted with infrared cameras to detect embers that are not visible from the surface.
The meeting also decided that transporting the waste from Brahmapuram to another place and soaking it in water was not feasible due to space constraints in Brahmapuram.
The expert from the US also called upon the firefighting officers to wear face masks and also asked the administration to monitor the air and water quality in the area regularly.
It may be noted that poisonous smoke has been erupting in Kochi for the past 11 days after a fire broke out in the Brahmapuram waste plant. Heaps of waste, including plastic, were burning with the firefighting department not able to completely douse the fire.
The whole of Ernakulam district is engulfed with smoke and health experts have warned of an impending health crisis as poisonous chemicals will mix with water and air and can render difficulties to newborn and old people alike. IANS