Limestone flour plant caught on fire; company uncertain about future

More than 30 fire rescuers, seven firetrucks, two ladders and a rescue car were involved in extinguishing a hazardous fire on Tuesday afternoon. The limestone flour plant in Saldus municipality, SIA “Sātiņi LM”, was on fire. Representatives of the company do not yet know whether it will recover after this accident, Skrunda Television reported September 6.

The large black plumes of smoke rising high above the limestone flour plant near Saldus on the afternoon of September 5 could be seen from afar. Gas leaked from tanks, local explosions occasionally occurred, and firefighters were seen arriving at the scene.

It was dangerous and difficult to extinguish the fire, taking ten hours.

The head of the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) operational Management Board, Kristaps Kolbergs, said the gas leak occurred from tanks, damaged supply hoses, and wires: "Water supply at this site is difficult, the nearest water intake points are exhausted." Firefighters provided a loop water supply the same water used to extinguish by collecting and reusing again, cooling the tank.

Only 20 minutes after midnight did VUGD contain the spread of the flames, but work at the scene concluded around 2:30 AM. The total burning area was 790 square meters.

Whether the company can recover from these losses, Uldis Spēlmanis, board Member of SIA “Sātiņi LM”, did not say yet.

“People haven't suffered, that's the best thing that's happened. Losses will be calculated, understand how big and how fast they can be fixed,” said Spēlmanis.

The company Sātiņi LM was established in 2006 on the basis of the limestone processing of the former Brocēni cement and slate plant. Production of limestone flour has virtually not stopped since 1964, according to an entry on the company's website.

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