PPC admits month-old PCB threat

Almost a month after a fire that seriously damaged an electricity power plant in northern Greece, the Public Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday conceded that small quantities of highly poisonous chemicals may have been released into the atmosphere during the accident. A PPC statement late yesterday said an inspection of the Aghios Dimitrios plant, near Ptolemaida in western Macedonia, eventually revealed that the Christmas Day fire, which destroyed the factory generator, had also burnt the insulating fluids in two of the generator’s three capacitors. Each capacitor contained 30 liters of fluid, «which may have contained toxic substances known as PCBs» the PPC statement said, referring to the highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyl group of chemicals that includes chlophen. It added that medical checks were being carried out on all employees who were at the plant during the fire. «Initial results show there is no serious problem,» PPC said.