At around 10.15 pm, a fire engulfed a 1,600-m² warehouse containing finished chemical products. Despite rapid intervention, the fire menaced a nitric acid production unit, thirteen 1-ton containers of dimethylsulfate (DMSO4) and ammonia tanks. The metal framework and the roof collapsed after 45 min., hampering firefighting efforts with foam. At 11.40 pm, the firemen were informed of the exact nature of the products stored: 369 t of pyrocatechine, 88 t of oxadiazon (herbicide) and 80 t of diphenylpropane (DPP). In order to protect the stock of DMSO4 and the nitric acid unit, firefighting and cooling operations were continued with full knowledge of the consequences; part of this firefighting water polluted the RHONE. Approximately 200 t of pyrocatechine and an unestimated quantity of oxadiazon and DPP flowed into the RHONE ; 70 t of dead fish were recovered along 75 km of the river, downstream from the discharge point. The water supply was disrupted for 2 days over 200 km along the RHONE. Damages within the company were evaluated at 36 MF and operating losses at 3 MF. The Court sentenced the operator to pay a total of 2.6 MF in damages to roughly fifteen fishing companies and associations. Following this accident, the establishment was required to reinforce its prevention program in 4 main categories: reinforcement of the fire monitoring and detection system, continuous monitoring of aqueous releases in the workshops, in the sewer mains and in the plant’s general effluent, construction of a 10,000 m³ catchpit for water accidentally polluted (10 MF) and modelling of accidental toxic effluent spillage into the RHONE (DISPERSO program).

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