The Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service have this afternoon continued to combat a fire in Power’s Drive Tunnel, located on the East Side of the Rock.
GFRS crews have, throughout the day, tackled the fire in extremely hot and difficult conditions, with almost no visibility. Good progress has been made and the fire has now been extinguished in Vault 3 of the tunnel. Firefighters are now actively working to gain direct access to the next section, Vault 4, in which it is believed that the remaining fire is contained.
Smoke release has improved significantly through the afternoon. This is a positive sign that the GFRS’ offensive is working and there is no current indication of any further spread of fire past Vault 4.
In a statement, GFRS said that whilst there has been major collapse further down the tunnel, there is no current evidence that this has caused any damage to infrastructure contained within the tunnel. A priority throughout the day has been to safeguard AquaGib’s Reverse Osmosis Plant in the immediate area. There has been no risk to the plant itself and, at present, there is no evidence of damage to any of the plant’s infrastructure.
The Chief Fire Officer, Colin Ramirez, said: ‘Good progress has been made throughout the day and firefighters have successfully extinguished the fire in one section of the tunnel and are working to gain direct access to the next. The GFRS crews have been working in immensely difficult conditions with no visibility and in temperatures of up to 120 Celsius. The safety and wellbeing of our firefighters is the first priority, and the significant risk of collapse in the tunnel, coupled with the extreme heat conditions, have hampered progress. I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank and commend them for their professionalism and tireless efforts.’