IT WAS concerning to read the recent (Echo, May 25) article covering yet another fire in the bulk handling terminal, adjacent to the KGV dock.

I would question how many fires have got to occur at the bulk terminal before the operators take serious steps to prevent a re-occurrence.

Previous fires occurred in one of the scrap metal piles in April 2012 and another in the nearby wood chip pile in 2015; the frequency of these fires does raise questions regarding the work practices of the operators.

While this was the first fire occurring in a ship's hold during loading, one does wonder if the increased quantities of metal loading in 27,000-tonne bulk carriers such as the Serina increase the risk of similar events occurring in future. The ABP spokesperson's comment that "It's something that happens sometimes with scrap ships, it's a reaction with the metals" was hardly reassuring.

The close proximity of the Calor gas centre and petrol station on the other side of the railway also raises safety questions whether it is safe to handle and store this type of material so near.

Local residents have been complaining about the noise created by the scrap metal operation for a number of years and to again be told to close windows to keep out smoke doesn't help the situation.

Hopefully the Environment Agency, which is responsible for overseeing the activities of waste operators in the port, will take steps to ensure operators keep to the terms of their licences and local residents can look forward to enjoying gardens this summer.


Regents Park