Benelux truck inspection action at Sterpenich discontinued following toxic liquid leak:

a scenario to be studied
 

We might have missed a catastrophe by a hair’s breadth Thursday in the early afternoon, at the customs area of Sterpenich along the Belgian-Luxembourg border.
The Belgian and Grand Duchy inspectors of the Belgian inspection services of the FPS Mobility and Transport as well as the Luxembourg inspection of the Directorate of Customs and Excises had scarcely begun their joint cross-border inspection planned within the framework of a Benelux action focusing on truck safety (tachograph fraud, compliance with driving time requirements, overloading, technical check, etc.) when it had to be suspended, before finally being definitively cancelled. One of the very first trucks to be checked was found to be leaking a liquid which might have been potassium dioxide in solution, a highly toxic disinfectant.

Measures to isolate the truck were taken immediately, before closing the car park of the Sterpenich area. The fire-fighters of Arlon and the city of Luxembourg as well as the Civil Protection and police services of the two countries came to lend their assistance to their customs colleagues.
Attending this inspection as an observer, the Deputy Secretary General, Alain de Muyser, had an opportunity to see the relevance and practical utility of good cross-border collaboration, something that has long been advocated by the Benelux General Secretariat. The smooth cooperation between the Civil Protection and fire brigades of the two countries made it possible to rapidly set up a system for containing and eliminating the dangers. This direct application of the work of the Benelux – which is notably striving in a concerted manner to establish mechanisms for managing cross-border crises and all of the services involved (emergency, police, ambulances, etc.) - constitutes an encouragement for the Benelux General Secretariat. The objective here is to continue moving towards an ever-increasing collaboration between the different services of the three countries, in order to improve, through consultation and cooperation, the security, mobility and well-being of all citizens.
 


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