‘Kids could die on chemical estate’

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A FORMER petro-chemicals expert has branded an empty industrial unit the worst breach of regulations around hazardous substances he has ever seen.

Roman estate resident Michael Langlois is calling for the site on the Buckingham Road Estate in Brackley to be cleared within two weeks, amid fears barrels there could even lead to a child being killed.

Chemical hazard at Cypress Manufacturing,Brackley.'110525M-B123

Chemical hazard at Cypress Manufacturing,Brackley.'110525M-B123

This week Environment Agency officials played down the risk posed by the hazardous chemicals, but admitted they are in talks with the owners of the site.

Tonnes of chemicals are present on the unsupervised site, which is crowded with plastic containers and metal barrels containing a cocktail of hazardous waste include sulphuric acid, white spirits, and a chemical called methylene chloride which can cause blindness and cancer if inhaled.

Retired Mr Langlois, who finished his career as a general manager in the petro-chemicals industry, informed the authorities about the site after he noticed leaking containers and damaged fencing.

He attended a meeting at the site on Wednesday between environment officials and Brackley Town Council, and with the backing of a Roman Estate residents’ group he is calling for the site is made safe by Friday, June 10.

Mr Langlois added: “At the site meeting with councillors, SNC environmental reps and the EA we all agreed that this is a disaster waiting to happen and the very first thing is to get the fence re-instated.

“I made it abundantly clear that the residents will not sit by quietly and are demanding to know why action was not taken sooner.”

Fellow resident Mike Cook said he was gobsmacked by what he saw and added: “I don’t suppose it’s at risk of blowing up in the next week, but the holidays are coming and kids could get in there and easily kill themselves.”

A spokesman for the EA said: “We have been to the site to check if there has been any pollution and we don’t think it’s a problem at the moment.

“But obviously the site does need to be cleared and we are talking to the site owner and the fencing will be sorted by today (Friday).”

The spokesman said despite some of the containers being labelled as 96 per cent sulphuric acid they were more dilute and posed a lower risk, but warned people to stay away.