On an automobile seal manufacturing line of a rubber items plant, a fire broke out at 11.45 am at a brushing station in one of the humid channel exhaust fans used for removing rubber powder. An in-house emergency response team quickly contained the fire, and then firefighters were alerted to prevent the fire from restarting. The fifty or so people present in the building were evacuated. A significant emission of smoke and dust affected 4 employees who were treated by the emergency services. There were no other consequences to the establishment’s operations.
Informed by the press, the inspection authorities for classified facilities contacted the establishment’s manager, went to the scene on 5/12/2006, and drew up a report establishing the facts. The damaged equipment had been a replacement for a dry channel exhaust fan in April 2006, which had previously been destroyed in a fire. The accident was caused by non-compliance with the cleaning instructions; very fine black rubber dust had clumped together, heated up and ignited. The damaged exhaust fan was replaced in January 2007.