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Public warned of toxic chemical risk after Atlantic Sapphire blaze

Iron chloride leaked from Atlantic Sapphire's Danish plant after a large fire on Wednesday night. Photo: Atlantic Sapphire.
Iron chloride leaked from Atlantic Sapphire's Danish plant after a large fire on Wednesday night. Photo: Atlantic Sapphire.

Danish police have warned that there has been a release of the toxic substance iron chloride after the major fire in Atlantic Sapphire’s recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) salmon farm.

Around 200 tonnes of fish are expected to have died because of the blaze, which broke out on Wednesday night at the facility situated at Hvide Sande, a strip of land separating the sea from the Rinkøbingfjord in west central Denmark.

“People in the affected area should avoid swimming in the Ringkøbingfjord and otherwise avoid contact with iron chloride, which can be recognised by the fact that the water is red. The red water can be corrosive to the touch,” the police said in a press release.

Leak stopped

Central and West Jutland Police also emphasised that if people have been in contact with iron chloride, and experience acute breathing difficulties, they should contact a doctor.

The leak of iron chloride has been stopped.

Atlantic Sapphire’s Danish facility is relatively small in scale compared to its on-land salmon farm in Florida, where the company plans to eventually 220,000 tonnes of fish annually.

Chief executive Johan Andreassen posted about the fire on Twitter last night.

Andreassen said: “Heartbreaking to see a decade of game-changing innovation gone. Today, we’re relieved that there were no injuries and send our love to the team in DK. We’re proud to see the legacy of all the hard work in DK in the US, where the rest of AS is focused on one thing: EXECUTION!”