Smoke and fumes from a fire at the Fond Cole Landfill have forced Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA), Benoit Bardouille to apologize to the captain and crew on board the Royal Princess cruise ship on Friday afternoon.
At the time the ship was docked at the Woodbridge Bay Port in Fond Cole.
“It is a terrible experience and I know that the ship is in port,” he said earlier on Friday afternoon.
The ship left Dominica at about 5:30 pm.
He said he had to apologize to the captain and crew of the ship out of respect “but it is something that we do not have control over.”
“There was a lot of concern by the port, as you know winds blowing to the south east with the ship alongside the Woodbridge Bay, we are in the direct path of that sort of fume coming from the area,” he said.
He said firefighters were trying their best to control the blaze “but in the meantime those fumes are really negatively impacting on the visitors coming into port.”
Bardouille hopes that the negative images do not reflect what the norm is in Dominica.
Meantime Chief Fire Officer Josiah Dupuis said the fire service is trying its best to contain the fire, which started early Friday afternoon.
“It is a fire that we are very concerned about because of the nature of what is burning and therefore we are doing our very best,” Dupuis stated. “I can confirm that we have almost all of the fire assets at fire brigade headquarters currently at the Roseau landfill.”
He described it as a “very large fire” which “poses tremendous threat to the fire officers.”
“The last information I have is that the fire is in such a stage that we are basically on standby trying different strategies in trying to combat the fire,” he said.
Dupuis also revealed that the cause of the fire is unknown.
“I have absolutely no idea what may have caused that fire and it is certainly too early to be able to speculate on that,” he remarked. “We have had fires at the landfill, this one seems to be bigger than what we had before.”