Town of Akranes Covered in Cement

Vala Hafstað

When residents of Akranes, West Iceland, woke up yesterday morning, a layer of cement covered their houses and cars. “Everyone is irritated and fed up with this,” Halldór Gíslason, one of the residents, tells mbl.is. He fears the damage is extensive.

The accident happened at 5 am yesterday when cement was being pumped from a vessel in Akranes harbor into four 4,000-ton cement silos, owned by Akranes Cement Plant, where it is stored. One of the tanks overflowed, resulting in fine dust being spread over part of the town, mbl.is reports. The silos are still in use although the plant has been torn down.

According to Gunnar Sigurðsson, director of the Cement Plant, human error caused the accident.

“Fine dust got into the air, causing it to spread over a large area,” he states.

Akranes firefighters were called out to rinse the cement off houses, and others were called out to clean cars that were covered in cement. Gunnar states that the sooner cement is rinsed off, the better, since long exposure to it can cause damage.

The Cement Plant estimates the amount of cement that was spread over the town was between 200 kg and two tons.

In the video above, you can see the cement being rinsed off and Halldór Gíslason describing the damage. The roof of his house had recently been replaced, and he fears it may be damaged. He states in the video that this kind of thing has happened before, albeit on a smaller scale. 

The cement silos in Akranes.

The cement silos in Akranes. Photo: mbl.is/Hallur Már

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