11 hospitalised after incident at Poolbeg

Eleven people were admitted to St Vincent’s hospital following a “dangerous occurrence” at the Poolbeg Incinerator on Wednesday night in Dublin. The Health and Safety Authority said it was notified of what is known as an “uncontrolled release” at around 6am. The HSA inspectors are on site monitoring the situation.

Nine people have since been discharged from St Vincent’s Hospital while two remain under observation. The incident took place around 10.45pm last night after what the company described as “a small amount of lime” was inadvertently released inside the flue gas treatment area during the commissioning and testing of the plant.

A number of workers who were in an nearby area and as a precaution Dublin Waste-to-Energy Ltd said 11 of them were taken to St Vincent’s Hospital for evaluation, with two being kept in overnight.

The firm says the lime did not escape into the environment and was contained inside the building. The company said that it is investigating the incident, but preliminary findings seem to suggest a problem with a door seal in the fabric filter baghouse caused the leak.

The €600m Poolbeg Incinerator was first proposed more than 20 years ago, and is designed to process 600,000 tonnes of waste a year. Currently at the testing and commissioning phase, it will supply power to 80,000 homes and district heating to another 50,000 when it begins full operations in August or September of this year.

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Neha Katoch

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