Incident at ArcelorMittal site in Differdange – Status report at 7 p.m.

The Crisis Cell, activated under the 'Mass Casualties' Plan, met again at 6 p.m. to take stock of the situation regarding the incident which occurred at the ArcelorMittal site in Differdange.

Chaired by Minister for the Interior Dan Kersch, the Crisis Cell was given the results of the latest analyses carried out at the site regarding the contents of the two wagons.

The Army bomb disposal unit has confirmed the presence in the two wagons of deactivated military shells dating back to the First and Second World Wars. The wagons have been isolated and measurement devices are being used. The results of these additional measurements have also proved negative. Under permanent surveillance, other measurements will be taken at regular intervals until the wagons have been completely unloaded.

After the estimated 100 tonnes in the two wagons have been unloaded an interim report will be drawn up by the Rescue Services Agency, the Grand Duchy's army, the  Inspectorate of Labour and Mines, and ArcelorMittal on the exact determination of any product(s) detected.

As soon as the Government was informed that there were four more wagons from the same German company (which specialises in the transport and sale of scrap metal) heading for the ArcelorMittal site in Differdange, it banned them entering the Grand Duchy.

All the 63 people present in the immediate perimeter of the incident have undergone a decontamination procedure as a preventive measure.

Of the 63 people:

  • 3 had been near the wagons and felt skin-related symptoms and some difficulty breathing: they were able to go home in the course of the afternoon;
  • 7 were in contact with the 3 people who had been near the wagons;
  • 18 were taken to A&E as a preventive measure, and have since been able to leave hospital;
  • 35 were not in contact with the wagons.

According to information from the doctors of the Department of Health who have been involved in managing the incident, there is currently no threat to public health.

The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg said it was reassured to learn that the incident which occurred at the ArcelorMittal site in Differdange had not impacted the state of health of the population.

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