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Smoke from decommissioned Ninian Northern oil platform ‘not hazardous’

Ninian Northern smoke
Smoke seen billowing from decommissioned Ninian Northern platform

Waste specialist Veolia has dismissed any suggestion that the smoke seen billowing from the decommissioned Ninian Northern platform in Shetland could have been toxic.

A fire developed at the industrial site at Dales Voe, Lerwick, on Saturday sending large amounts of smoke into the air for an extended period.

One fire appliance from Lerwick attended at about noon, but firefighters were told they were not needed as the on-site team was already dealing with the incident.

Following further questions on Tuesday, Veolia released a second statement reassuring local people that all hazardous materials were removed from the 14,000-tonne structure prior to demolition work getting under way.

Meanwhile the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that they were satisfied with the company’s procedure.

A Veolia spokesman said: “Our decommissioning sites have full risk assessments in place and fire-watch procedures to anticipate and respond immediately to any potential fires.

“Veolia completed a robust nine-month decontamination phase to remove all hazardous materials from the platform prior to any demolition work commencing.”

‘Robust plans in place’

HSE said the risk of fire had been foreseeable and planned for.

A spokesman said: “An HSE inspector carried out a site inspection at the Lerwick decommissioning facility on August 31 and was satisfied that Veolia has robust plans and fire-watch measures in place.

“Because suitable and sufficient measures for dealing with a fire were in place, when a fire did start, it was spotted straight away, dealt with swiftly and in accordance with their procedures.

“HSE is satisfied that the company’s procedures were implemented correctly and won’t be taking any further action.”

SEPA was also contacted to comment but did not respond.

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