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Scrapyard that caught fire should not be located in centre of Saint John, says panel

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FREDERICTON — A panel investigating a major scrapyard fire in Saint John, N.B., says the site is at significant risk of future, potentially catastrophic, explosions.

The panel was established with representatives from Port Saint John and the provincial government to investigate the Sept. 14 fire at the American Iron & Metal plant, located by the city’s harbour.

The massive fire took nearly three days to extinguish and prompted officials to warn residents to stay indoors and close their windows.

In a report released today, the panel says the location of the plant, which is close to a residential neighbourhood, is entirely inappropriate.

It says Saint John’s water resources were not to sufficient to deal with the Sept. 14 fire, and that the city is ill-equipped to manage potential future fires at the site.

The panel says the negative socio-economic impacts of the plant are unacceptable to nearby residents and surrounding communities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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