Update issued on state of rivers after huge chemical factory fire

Fire and explosions at Synthite chemical plant in Mold
Fire and explosions at Synthite chemical plant in Mold -Credit:Cllr Brian Lloyd

People can return to two rivers after a previous warning to stay away was lifted. On Wednesday Natural Resources Wales (NRW) asked people to stay away from the River Alyn and also warned about the River Dee following contamination from formaldehyde.

On Thursday dozens of dead fish were also found in the river as fears grew over the impact after a "significant concentration of formaldehyde" entered the water. It follows a devastating fire at the Synthite chemical factory in Mold on Tuesday afternoon, with an investigation still underway on this and its wider potential impact.

North Wales Live revealed that an NRW memo had raised significant concerns over staff carrying out tasks in the areas of the rivers. But this afternoon they said that following further monitoring people were no longer being asked to stay away from the rivers.

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Synthite this afternoon said they are "deeply concerned at the impact of the incident" and were assisting with the investigation. Lyndsey Rawlinson, from Natural Resources Wales, said: “Following the fire at the Synthite Factory we have continuously monitored the Rivers Alyn and Dee to understand the impact and we can confirm that a chemical called formaldehyde entered the River Alyn.

"Our monitoring work has confirmed that we are no longer asking people not to go near the Rivers Alyn and Dee. Around the clock monitoring will continue and we are in continuous contact with multi agency partners, including emergency service, health departments, local government and water companies, as we continue to work together to minimise the fire’s impact on the community and environment.”

Dead fish in the River Alyn
Dead fish in the River Alyn on Thursday -Credit:Caroline Dawson, Trustee Welsh Dee Trust

A Synthite spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned at the impact of the incident. The cause of the environmental concerns are being investigated and we are liaising closely with all agencies in this ongoing incident, including how formaldehyde entered the River Alyn.

“We thank local residents for their patience and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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