New emergency plan being discussed following recent huge fire at Foyle Port in Derry

Local residents concerned at impact of any further incidents

Forty-six firefighters working to contain fire in large 'grain shed' at Foyle Port

The fire at Foyle Port could be seen miles away in the other side of the city.

A plan is being put in place to keep the local community informed if there is a re-occurence of a recent large fire at Foyle Port.

On July 29 this year, a fire broke out at a large transit shed at the port which contained grain for agricultural feed.

The huge black plumes of smoke from the fire could be seen across Derry.

In the wake of the blaze, an investigation was launched to establish what caused the fire.

There was concern among the surrounding community in the Strathfoyle and Maydown areas about the potential impact of such fires.

The matter was discussed on Thursday at a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Health and Community committee.

In a report prepared by council officers for the meeting, it was stated that the local community had expressed concern about the potential for the recurrence of such an incident.

The report continued: “Following the incident officers from the Health & Community Wellbeing Department and the Council’s Emergency Planning Officer have been in contact with the Environment and Health and Safety Officer in the Port.

“They have been advised that the relevant statutory agencies had been notified of the incident and that investigations into the incident are still to be completed by the owners of the transit shed and those who own the agricultural feed inside the transit shed.

“It is our understanding in response to an email from the Strathfoyle Community Association that the Port appreciate the concerns of local residents and that they intend to engage with impacted stakeholders and learn from the incident.”

The report said the council's Emergency Planning Officer is liaising with Strathfoyle community leaders to develop Community Resilience Plans to mitigate the effects of emergency events on the community.

“Such plans assess the risks to communities and put agreed protocols in place to allow communitys to be informed, to be included in pre-agreed actions and put in place measures that allows the community to be part of the response assisting responding agencies in doing so where possible.

“The Emergency Planning Officer is also engaging with Foyle Port to determine mechanisms of communication with community leaders in the event of an emergency that could impact on the residents in the surrounding area.”

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