The Paris public prosecutor’s office announced Thursday that Lubrizol France was indicted, five months after the fire that ravaged a site operated by the company near Rouen and in which more than 9,500 tonnes of chemicals went up in smoke.
Lubrizol France has been indicted for environmental damage caused by the fire at its Rouen factory in September, the causes of which remain unknown, the Paris prosecutor’s office announced on Thursday 27 February.
The group is under investigation for “spillage of harmful substances” and for failures in the operation of its factory that have caused “serious damage” to the environment. The September 26 fire that destroyed 9,505 tonnes of chemicals caused a 70-kilometer-long black smoke cloud.
The company is accused of “not having taken all measures to prevent the significant spread of the fire and the environmental damage which resulted from it,” said a source familiar with the matter.
The company was placed under judicial control with the obligation to pay a bond of 375,000 euros and to provide security of 4 million euros, adds the prosecution.
Lubrizol is since 2011 under the control of the American billionaire Warren Buffett, via its holding company Berkshire Hathaway which had bought the group for 9.7 billion dollars.