Kuwait hardly has a green reputation (in fact, it’s been pretty obstructive in global efforts to set emission targets) but recent events have definitely undermined what left of its eco credentials. As well as shocking stories of animal cruelty, there are rising concerns of childhood obesity and a growing carbon footprint. A fire also broke out last week in a tire dump which was so big that it could be seen from space.
The fire broke out on April 17 at a tire dump near Al Jahrah in Kuwait. It is believed that around 5 million tires fuelled the fire which specialists struggled to control. Hundreds of firefighters as well as soldiers and employees of the Kuwait Oil Company took part in the efforts to extinguish the blaze.
According to Grist, a fire that size will have huge environmental impacts. “It won’t just pollute the air with hazardous materials – it will create a small oil spill as well. Burning just one passenger car tire can produce two gallons of oil, according to EPA, and 5 million tires could spill about 275,000 gallons of oil on the ground.”
An investigation has been launched into how the fire started. There have been some whispers that the fire may have been started deliberately by scrap metal hawkers looking to recover the leftover metals. Indeed the current investigation has revealed that an electricity generator which powers the dump was damaged one day before the fire.
The finger printing machine also failed to work and so the employees’ movements couldn’t be tracked. The investigation is ongoing and the final outcome will be announced in a couple of days. As well as an official investigation, there have been calls for stricter legislation to avoid a similar disaster.
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