As the citizens of the south-eastern areas of Skopje remain panicked following the spill of tons of water mixed with the toxic substance methyl acrylate, authorities say that it will be days before tests are completed to determine the extent of the impact on public health.
Deputy Environment Minister Jani Makraduli posted a Facebook comment promising that the spill has been fully moped up and that there is no danger for the public from the acrid fumes that spread over the OHIS chemical plant and into some of the most densely populated areas of the capital.
Owing to the speedy reaction from everybody involved, the incident has been contained. I want to assure the citizens of Kisela Voda that there is no danger for them. We ran a laboratory test using a detector for organic vapors which reveals that there is no concentration of methyl acrylate around the factory, Makraduli wrote.
But the Interior Ministry said that samples are still being tested to determine the exact concentration of the toxic chemical in the waste water that spilled over when a valve burst as workers were cleaning a tank that was filled with decades old methyl acrylate. Environmentalists are also blaming the company which was syphoning off the toxic substance, for export to Switzerland, for not informing the public of the incident until local residents alarmed the press about the acrid smell.