Black cloud over Venice


An extraordinary image by Andrea Merola gives a sense of the accident that occurred this morning at a chemical factory in Marghera


15 May 2020

A huge, dense cloud of smoke rose from the fire at one of the plants of Porto Marghera. One person burned, one injured and several poisoned by toxic fumes. The plant had been criticized by the unions for its poor safety measures. The cloud reached Venice, giving the city a sinister and fascinating aspect, as shown by the image above, a photo by Andrea Merola.

Gianfranco Bettin, President of the Municipality of Marghera commented about the incident shortly after the alarm.

“The very serious, shocking fire which raged this morning at 3V Sigma, a chemical company in Porto Marghera, with high reaching flames and a black cloud that loomed over the city and the lagoon, a fire that has left at least two workers in serious condition for which we fear for their fate, is a fire, a disaster, which was predicted.

Only a few months ago, in fact, the employees of this plant staged a strike over the safety conditions, denouncing, among other things, the inadequacy of the fire prevention systems. For years, then, we, as the Municipality of Marghera, have raised the issue of safety in companies that, starting from the old petrochemical complex, have been allowed to manage themselves, with varying success. The lack of adequate investments, both in the production cycle and for the internal safety of the employees and the equipment, makes the situation dangerous, as this morning has dramatically demonstrated.

From ARPAV, from the inspectors, from the Magistrate and from the institutions, we await all the necessary information about what happened, about what was released into the air, and who is responsible, reiterating the need to change the model of development, which at Porto Marghera requires an epochal shift.”


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