Hong Kong fire consumes electronic scrap

More than 130 firefighters battle blaze for four hours.

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September 24, 2015

Firefighters in Hong Kong spent four hours putting out a blaze reported to have occurred at an electronics recycling facility in a remote location.

More than 130 firefighters were involved in putting out the fire, which the South China Morning Post describes as having included “explosions [and] smoke billowing several stories into the air.”

Investigators are looking into whether “excess quantities of dangerous goods were stored illegally” at the plant where the Sept. 20, 2015, fire occurred.

The fire was located in Hong Kong’s New Territories, near its border with the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong has been identified by the Seattle-based Basel Action Network (BAN) as a gateway for receiving electronic scrap that is then smuggled into mainland China to be dismantled unsafely and in environmentally damaging ways.

The location of the fire is described by the South China Morning Post as being in an area “with four adjacent recycling plants [that] mainly handle electronic waste” at a remote site that is “600 to 800 meters (650 yards to a half-mile)” away from the nearest source of water.