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14 Nov 2006

John Minton, Minton, Treharne & Davies

[PDF] Caustic tank washings, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

The high number of reported casualties suggests that…the extensive presence of gaseous pollutants as the cause. This is clearly consistent with there having been a significant release of hydrogen sulphide gas. This would cause effects ranging from serious respiratory and eye problems at high concentrations near to the source through to discomfort and nausea brought about by the unpleasant smell in areas further from the source…These are the precise effects reported in this incident and we conclude hydrogen sulphide release to have been the likely cause…Press reports of such incidents are notoriously unreliable and often overstate the problem [refers to Trafigura]