Take Safety Precautions, Pinoys in Parts of Spain Reminded Amid Orange Cloud Threat

Filipinos in some areas in Spain were urged to stay indoors and take safety precautions amid the threat from a toxic orange cloud after an explosion at the Igualada chemical plant.

In an urgent advisory dated Feb. 16, the Philippine Embassy in Madrid said at least three people had been reported injured due to the explosion.

The Philippine Embassy in Madrid wishes to advise the Filipino community in the neighboring towns of Barcelona, Spain, particularly in the town of Igualada, where a large orange toxic cloud has spread over the area following an explosion that happened at a chemical plant in said place, to stay indoors until the cloud has fully dissipated,” it said.

The embassy also said that pending the announcement from Catalan authorities declaring the area to be publicly safe, Filipinos in the area are urged not to place themselves in danger.

It said this means “avoiding unnecessary travels near the area or taking pictures of the orange cloud.”

“(Filipinos) are also strongly advised to use gas masks if they need to go out of their homes and to immediately avail of medical assistance in case of symptoms emanating from inhalation of the toxic chemicals,” it said.

The embassy cited a statement from the Catalonia regional government indicating the blast occurred when chemical products being delivered to a plant owned by the Spanish company Simar in Igualada City carne into contact, exploded and set a truck on fire on February 12.

Also, it quoted firefighters as saying the chemicals were nitric acid – which is corrosive and toxic – and ferric chloride.

“Due to the incident, the Catalan authorities instructed people to shut their windows and stay inside their homes as a precaution,” it said.

The embassy said the confinement order was partially lifted two hours after the explosion, but emergency services continued advising children, elderly people, pregnant women and those with respiratory problems.

(Source: Joel Locsin/LBG, GMA News)

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