Late last night a small amount of lime was accidentally released during testing inside the flue gas treatment area at the new plant.
11 men working on nearby scaffolding received treatment on the scene and were taken to St Vincents’ Hospital as a precaution, with two men hospitalised overnight.
Lime is used to clean the flue gas which contains dioxins and heavy metals during the combustion process.
The plant only started burning waste this day last week after taking its first delivery at the end of April.
Health and safety authority inspectors are on site – but the area is now closed off and the Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t been able to get its inspectors in.
The combustion unit working at the time was shut down and the company that runs the incinerator at Poolbeg says none of the lime escaped into the environment.
John Daly, managing director of the Dublin Waste-to-Energy Ltd, added today; “A small amount of lime was inadvertently released inside the flue gas treatment area during the commissioning and testing of the Dublin Waste to Energy plant at Ringsend.
“At the time, there were a number of workers in an adjacent area. As a precaution, eleven workers were sent to St Vincent’s Hospital nearby for medical evaluation.
“Two were detained overnight.”
Mr Daly said the Covanta company, which runs the plant, is investigating the incident.
“The safety of our employees and contractors is of utmost importance to Covanta and we are investigating the incident thoroughly.
“We are investigating to understand what exactly occurred, but it appears from preliminary investigation that the release of the lime was due to a problem with a door seal in the fabric filter baghouse.”
Workers were not being allowed into the area until a full investigation is complete.
Photo Credit: William Murphy