Massive fire hits former TAZ plant in Trnava

It took 12 hours to put out the fire in a hallway full of chemicals.

The Former TAZ plant's halls went up in flames in Trnava, forcing people to stay home.The Former TAZ plant's halls went up in flames in Trnava, forcing people to stay home.(Source: FB/DHZO in the Trnava Region)

The premises of the former TAZ (Trnavské automobilové závody) car manufacturing plant in Trnava went up in flames in Trnava during the late afternoon, as reported by the Sme daily.

The fire started on the afternoon of September 25 in one of the hallways where swimming pool chemicals are produced today. A crisis staff was set up at the Trnava town hall as soon as possible.

"We recommend closing windows and staying inside," the city of Trnava wrote on Facebook an hour after the hallway burst into flames. Police cars were driving around the city and calling on people to stay in.

Trnava, which is home to thousands of foreigners, failed to issue the warnings in English on its social media channels and elsewhere, though.

Shortly after 21:30, head of the municipal police Igor Keleši told the local Trnavské Rádio station that the due measurements have been made and it was safe for people to come out to the streets.

Firefighters managed to bring the fire under control shortly before 5:30 on September 26, which is 12 hours after the fire, the Presidium of the Fire and Rescue Corps (PHaZZ) informed on Facebook.

A smoke cloud seen far and wide

"A horribly off-putting smell is spreading out from there. I was standing there for a while as it is hard to breathe nearby," Trnava citizen Vlastimil L. told Sme.

However, people living outside Trnava, in nearby villages and towns, could also observe flames floating above Trnava.

"As the wind is blowing a smoke cloud towards our village, we recommend closing windows and stay home," Bučany Mayor Rastislav Kurinec wrote on Facebook.

No one was hurt despite the fact some people did not follow instructions issued by the police and city.

90 people forced to leave

"The fire has not been localised yet," Zoltán Takács, Trnava Fire Department head, told Trnavské rádio a few hours after the flames went up.

Meanwhile, it was said firefighters had to evacuate 1,500 people from Coburgova Street, near the former TAZ plant in Trnava's borough of Linčianska. The crisis staff member later said to Trnavské rádio no evacuation would be required.

"We used a fire department’s bus to evacuate and transport 90 citizens from nearby home buildings to the nearest primary school," the Presidium of the Fire and Rescue Corps eventually claimed on Facebook in the late night.

The Presidium of the Fire and Rescue Corps added 10 lorry trailers loaded with barrels full of chemicals were found in the hallway, which had begun to melt owing to the heat.

"Firefighters managed to blanket all the leaking chemicals with foam and prevent them from spreading further," the presidium wrote on Facebook in the early morning.

A number of fire brigades in action

The fire was being put out by 60 professional firefighters and volunteers from Trnava, Galanta, Piešťany, Dunajská Streda, Bratislava, Voderady, Cífer, Jaslovské Bohunice, Bohdanovce nad Trnavou, Zeleneč, and Križovany nad Dudváhom. Several fire trucks and other equipment are on the site, too.

"There are three vehicles that measure air pollution and another chemical lab has been called from Nitra," Takács said earlier, as quoted by Sme.

Trnava Police spokesperson Martina Kredatusová said 12 police patrols were on the scene, keeping people away from the area near the former TAZ plant and diverting the traffic, Sme wrote.

“People may go to work and school without any difficulties in the morning,” Stanislav Krištofík, head of the Trnava crisis management department under the Interior Ministry, said to Trnavské rádio in the late evening on September 25.

The situation under control

There are several hidden fire outbreaks, which firefighters will be monitoring, The Presidium of the Fire and Rescue Corps wrote on Facebook.

It is expected that the fire will be completely put out during the day, on September 26, the presidium added.

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