DASPA boss apologizes to cruise ship following landfill fire

The ship enveloped by smoke leaves port earlier on Friday
The ship enveloped by smoke leaves port earlier on Friday

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.”

The ship leaving port on Friday afternoon
The ship leaving port on Friday afternoon


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  1. John
    March 16, 2015

    Does Dominica have a re-cycle program to keep plastics like water bottles, tires, foam and other materials that can cause harmful fumes if burned out of land fills? If not why not? Re-cycle is big business in other countries and the the materials are sold to manufacturing and made into plastic chairs etc. Not to insult anyone’s intelligence but that needs to be looked into.

  2. JoJo
    March 16, 2015

    I checked all Carnival cruise ship schedules up to 2017 but cannot find any visits planned for Dominica. I thought there were plans for them to definitely return to Dominica. I just pray to God that I’m wrong and that no other cruise lines have also decided to give us a miss. Can the DDA publish a schedule for next season please. It seems everyone in authority wants to keep us in the dark. Thank you.

  3. LANlu
    March 16, 2015

    great Mr. Bardo but it would be greater to reinstate and apologize to Mr. JONES of Marigot..

  4. John paul
    March 15, 2015

    Why is the Head of DASPA not calling for Heads to roll at the landfill?
    Will heads roll only if it was a man named LENNOX?
    Mr.Goodwill is this any worse than taking a few dead crabs off the island in hunting season without a permit?
    If so more than one Head should roll.the lucrative tourist trade which we have heard you talk so much about is in danger and though you may not be in control of solid waste your mouth should still be under your control and it should reflect your actions ,so take off your ba bou chette and start calling for heads to roll in the relaxant departments that are responsible for this burning of tyres at the landfill

  5. Tjebe fort
    March 15, 2015

    Sacre, today sunday I see the Silver Seas cruise ship coming into Roseau very late, about midday. Maybe they get the message about that fire already? How many hours will it stay before it leaves again, before dark? 4 o’clock, maybe latest at 6?. Who can make a tour, make a living in that short time. Boy, what a publicity disaster for us. Eh ben, not even enough banane for us to eat again and govt. telling us we must not be negative, must not spread bad news? Is they that doing it themselves.

    March 15, 2015

    From what was reported, it would appear whatever was burning was of a Toxic Nature. If we are serious about protecting the Environment, measures should be taken to dispose Tires and other Hazardous material properly. The Landfill is definitely not the means whereby these are disposed off!!!

    March 15, 2015

    How unfortunate to mar our brand as’ Nature Isle of the Caribbean’. This is not the image we wish to project to the world. Plumes of black smoke enveloping a Cruise Ship and Environs thus forcing a hasty departure from our shores. More effort should have been made to contain this fire before it completely went out of control.
    Once again Mr. Bardouille you have dropped the Ball. Then, you sir stated:” hope the negative Image does not reflect what the NORM is in Dominica.” Are you Kidding me? This is just another example why Dominica seem incapable of managing any sort of Crisis.
    We are better than that and if the Fire Department is Ill Equipped we should not let our Pride get in the way of asking for Assistance.
    Lets pray the people exposed to this Toxin fumes does not develop long term Respiratory problems or exacerbate those already suffering from such ailments.

  8. Lyn
    March 14, 2015

    Was there an apology to the citizens of Dominica? They matter as well!

  9. simbeart john
    March 14, 2015

    I was embarrassed, oh my God!

  10. uk Dominican
    March 14, 2015

    TJEBE fort how silly of you to write,,,,,this is worst than smoking weed,

    March 14, 2015

    Let us hope that the said Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA), Benoit Bardouille, will grasp the moral which emerges from this disaster: That there are more urgent QUALITY ASSURANCE and SECURITY matters to be addressed in his post, whether or not perceived of as being under his direct control, than the summary and unfair dismissal of a young man from his job at Melville Hall and who takes care of his ailing and aging parents, as the Bible says he should. Be assured, Mr Bardouille, that you or those on whose behalf you act, are not above God! Just saying.

  12. jonathan st jean
    March 14, 2015

    It never ceases to amaze me the way we have little regard for our own.Mr Bardouille will see it fit to apologize to the captain of the ship,and I’m glad he did, but what about the citizens,the residents of the area,are they not worthy of consideration?
    Too many times some of our people in authority treat native Dominicans as second class folk in such matters.We are quick to be so feeling for outsiders,yet we show disdain for our own.We are just as important as visitors and demand the same and better regard from authorities. So Mr Bardouille how about apologizing to Dominicans who have to put up with this health hazard and you should use your clout to lobby the government to relocate this landfill because its bad for Dominicans and our visitors.

  13. Business Minded
    March 14, 2015

    The real question is whether the cruse ship berth is at the most efficacious location to maximize the capacity to provide the condition for the tourist to assist in our economy?

    • Eh?
      March 16, 2015

      Oh oh! You[re using “big” words and can’t construct a proper sentence. Up to now we have no idea what you’re really asking. This is too funny.

  14. Nacinamod
    March 14, 2015

    How ironic, the Nature Island is the filthiest island in the Caribbean. Everywhere you look is garbage, filth, poor sanitation and roads that lack basic maintenance. It is a national disgrace that our people are blind to this environmental blight that is a turn-off to tourists and potential investors.

  15. Alie
    March 14, 2015

    What I am curious to know is why ships are sent to fond Cole when the bayfront is there ? Its not the first time. What happen to bayfront? And as if no one apologized to me…I’m still inhaling smoke and have nowherr else to go for the time.

  16. real possie
    March 14, 2015

    This is real sad, you can’t be wanting tourist ships to return to Dominica and take those chances when they are in port. Here is my problem with the people who claim we are the nature isle, in this day and age we should have the machine that cuts up the tires and dip them in different colors so you can put it in the playground or even put on the edge of the road so we won’t have grass overlapping onto the road, we need people who think out off that old box we are used to. We need to make examples of people who does things like this, someone should be fired, if people know when things like this happen their head will roll they will think before they do things like this, but when you know you just say sorry and all things good you will not think before you do things like this.

  17. Go to hell!!!
    March 14, 2015

    When the wicked rules evil pursues him on every front. It was wicked foreigners and visitors that came down on December 8, 2014 to vote in an evil, wicked government on our backs and therefore it is just fair for innocent visitors to go back home and tell everyone about their bad experience in Dominica. I hope they tell those wicked ones that left their paradise lifestyle to come and put us in the smoke of hell.

  18. Henry
    March 14, 2015

    Why would a landfill be located in such an open and central place?

    Is Dominica so lacking in unutilised and appropriate locations?

    This incident could leave an acrid impression on the visitors!

  19. March 14, 2015

    The humour of this is that the fire official says, they don’t know what cause the fire. :lol: :lol:

  20. Doc. Love
    March 14, 2015

    The evil that men do, always lives with them. Remember the crab back security officer, God is not a policeman. I hope you apologize to him too. :mrgreen:

  21. Cruise
    March 13, 2015

    I am from the Royal Princess (ship docked at your port) I will be suing the government of Dominica for negligence, I have inhaled some of the fumes and I am now feeling the effects

    • Titiwi
      March 16, 2015

      Good for you, if you are a genuine cruise passenger on that ship. The cruise line should bring a class action for willfully endangering their clients to toxic fumes, through carelessness. I know that would be damaging to our country but it is about time we learn.

  22. Intoxi
    March 13, 2015

    To much blasted illiterates in this here country that is the problem . The problem is bigger than the fire it is the people my friend it is the people with no common sense but have a degree you give the big jobs. Trust me it will happen again maybe not in the same format but it will happen something worst than the smoke maybe something that will make Dominica pay it sad but true

  23. Do Not Flush It
    March 13, 2015

    I can immagine Caressa on stage next year doing his presentation. Landfill on stage and the raging smoke. On one side of the stage a tough man with pronounced nostrils making an apology to a departing ship. On the other end a man called Vest is Cut; demanding for his aoploggy. And the calypsonian says: they respect the foreign man but no respect for we.

  24. Helas!!
    March 13, 2015

    isn’t that landfill closed? when did it re-open? mr. minister?

  25. Tou jou la
    March 13, 2015

    That’s a shame!!!!!

  26. Eh?
    March 13, 2015

    So wait, he hasn’t even spared a thought for residents. I’m glad that this happened while a ship was in port or else it would be like just another day in paradise. We call ourselves the Nature Isle and people burn garbage anywhere, anytime with no regard for neighbours, the elderly, the sick and just one’s right not to inhale toxic fumes because of the careless act of another. In Barbados, you can’t just burn garbage or anything for that matter. When are we going to get serious and get to that stage? When? After crapaud smoke our pipe?

  27. anonymous
    March 13, 2015

    if the authorities could show concern and care for their own people then there would not be any issue for the tourist but this society cares about is the tourist, why not apologize to the Dominican public? are we not considered to be valuable also?

  28. Tjebe fort
    March 13, 2015

    Seriously, whoever started this fire should be tried for treason and crimes to humanity at the same time. I’m not joking, that is how bad and damaging this is!

  29. amy
    March 13, 2015

    How about apologizing to the citizens of your country, the cruise ship leave but they are cannot leave, the babies, elderly, and especially those with respiratory disease, how about an apology from the government expressing genuine concern, it’s about the people of dominica.

  30. The Facts
    March 13, 2015

    Oh my! It is too bad this occurred and at a time that the cruise ship was in port with its passengers. This is not good at all. Hope there will not be another fire when cruise ships are in the harbor.
    You ran them away? When you find out the cause of the fire, inform DNO who, in turn will inform us of what happened and how this fire started. Readers/the public are always curious to know and rightfully so.
    I hope this will not deter them from returning. Know that they will report this to their head office. The passengers will inform the travel agency about it.
    Prepare a letter of apology, one which will impress them enough so as not to tarnish their minds and deter them from visiting D/ca in the future.
    Looking at the smoke and the cruise ship departing, the scene looks as if the cruise ship was defeated.

  31. Tjebe fort
    March 13, 2015

    Toxic fumes folks. Ignorance is bliss but gentle rest will be the beneficiary, trust me. Long term suffering from fume inhalation will bring lingering health issues. PVC, tires, polythelene, polyester, polystyrene, polyamide, all toxic chemicals burning there in Nature |Isle. That is worse than smoking weed, believe me. Somebody must be prosecuted for this, no excuse. Jah will curse us.

  32. JD
    March 13, 2015

    FIVE MORE YEARS! What happened to the initiative to recycle the used tyres? There was a plan to chip and use the material to resurface our roads. The road was said to be surperior and would enable our cars to ride longer on their tyres. As well the chipped tyres could be exported. They can also be used to build houses. Google “EARTH SHIPS”. To find out more about up cycling tyres.
    The actions of our governments have far reaching consequences for our lives now and in the future. We need to be vigilant and proactive. Otherwise TOO LATE SHALL BE OUR CRY!

    • March 14, 2015

      Why oh why can us Dominicans include politics in everthing and appear to rejoice when negative things happen, regardless of the fact that we are all equally affected. Oh boy such uneducated and uninformed utterances seems to be the order of the day.

  33. yesterday
    March 13, 2015

    That’s it!!!! We are up in smoke now.

    • The Facts
      March 13, 2015

      If you have not started praying, commence right now and never cease. :lol: No joking really.

    • jojo
      March 14, 2015

      :lol: :lol: :lol:

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