Welsh MS asks questions about Kronospan fire

Two years on from a devastating fire in Chirk, a member of the Welsh Senedd has repeated his calls for answers.

Firefighters tackle the blaze. Photo: Paul McNulty.
Firefighters tackle the blaze. Photo: Paul McNulty.

Residents of Chirk woke up to scenes of devastation at the Kronospan factory January 2020.

It took five days to dampen down the fire and during that time residents were urged to keep their windows and doors closed due to smoke in the area. A local primary school also made the decision to keep its pupils inside during break time.

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's regional MS, has raised questions about the inquiry which was conducted in the wake of the fire.

Mr Gruffydd said: "The fire took place two years ago in January 2020 and the initial report was due back in April 2020. Of course the Covid-19 pandemic hit us in the meantime and I completely understand why resources and officers were diverted to dealing with that emergency.

"However, I think the people of Chirk and all those affected by the fire and ongoing pollution problems do deserve to know what is happening and it's important that we get an update on the inquiry and when it is likely to report back. Since the fire, I have had continual updates from local residents about pollution affecting them that emanates from the plant.

A spokesman for Wrexham County Borough Council said: “The matters in relation to activity undertaken prior, during and after the fire by Kronospan is still subject to an investigation by Public Protection Officers.

“The demands of the Covid pandemic on the service in addition to the impact on Kronospan to provide information and assist officers during 2020 caused by reduced activity on site has delayed the investigation.

“The site benefits from an environmental permit and as such the investigation relates to potential breaches of permit conditions. As such the matter will follow relevant legal processes and consideration. The matter is yet to be concluded.”

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