Brahmapuram: 40,000 litres pumped in per minute for 24 hours, but 30% of area still fuming

Fire & Rescue personnel engaged in putting out the fire at Brahmapuram waste dump yard. Photo: PRD

The Fire & Rescue units from throughout Kerala are working round the clock, pumping in 40,000 litres of water per minute, to put out the toxic fumes rising from the Brahmapuram waste dump yard.

On the ninth day, since a major fire began at the 110-acre yard, the fumes that emanated from 70% of the waste have been snuffed out, said Ernakulam District Collector NSK Umesh in a press release.

The remaining 30% of the area from where toxic fumes continue to rise is marshy.

"In some places, solid waste and other types of waste materials are mixed along with the plastic waste. It causes difficulty in putting out the fumes. The ongoing work is dangerous and it requires great care," said Regional Fire Officer, Sujith Kumar.

According to the district collector, the task at Brahmapuram is the biggest in the history of Kerala Fire & Rescue Services.

Fire units are working on shifts for 24 hours. In some places, the waste heaps were 25-30 feet high. Excavators dig up at least 4 feet holes in the heaps for water to be pumped in as the fumes rise from inside.

At least 20 fire tenders are on site, each with a capacity of 5,000 litres. However, according to Fire personnel, the marshy terrain on the Eastern side of the yard is difficult to be accessed by vehicles.

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