The NATO attack on Panchevo chemical industry is
beyond INSANE. It is a clear example of a senseless war crime.
NATO's genocidal intentions
You probably remember when a plant just like that
one in Panchevo exploded, in peace times, in Bopal (sp?), India causing thousands of
deaths and thousands of blinded? But, NATO has intentionally bombed the fertilizing plant
in the city of Panchevo.
Please, find following documents on this page:
1) Globe & Mail news report on the event
2) Letters of the two dirrectors of affected plants in Pancevo: -
Rafinery - Fertilizing Plant.
3) International law that NATO savages have breached by bombing these
THE GLOBE AND MAIL,
Monday, April 19, 1999
strikes pollute Danube
TOM WALKER Special to The Globe and Mail
Pancevo, Yugoslavia -- An ecological disaster was unfolding yesterday after NATO missiles ripped apart a combined
petrochemical, fertilizer and refinery complex on the banks of the Danube River north of
A series of detonations that shook the city early
yesterday morning sent a cloud of smoke and toxic gases hundreds of metres into the sky
where they were considered to be relatively safe. Among the gases reported to be billowing
above thousands of homes were chlorine, hydrochloric acid and phosgene.
Workers at the industrial complex in Pancevo
decided to release tonnes of ether dichloride, a powerful carcinogen, into the Danube
rather than risk seeing it blown up. At least three missiles strikes left large areas of
the plant crippled, and oil and
gasoline from the damaged refinery coursed into the river, forming slicks up to 20
Scientists warned people to stay indoors and to
avoid fish caught from the Danube. They said the pollution would spread downstream to
Romania and Bulgaria and then into the Black Sea. At least 50 residents of Pancevo were
reported suffering from phosgene poisoning and health ministry workers tried to round up
gas masks for belated protection. Residents were told to breathe through cloth soaked in
water and bicarbonate of soda as a precaution against showers of nitric acid and nitrogen
Thirteen hours after the first explosions, the
Yugoslav army took journalists to the Pancevo site.
"This plant is 37 years old
and has never witnessed anything like it. This is our worst nightmare," said plant
director Miralem Dzindo. [An ethnic Muslim] "The sickness of the minds that did this
to us is enormous. By taking away our fertilizer
they stop us growing food, and then they try to poison us as well."
He said the plant's production was strictly non-military, and noted that the warehouses had been largely empty when the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization struck, because the attack had been expected and many
chemicals and compounds had been moved to underground bunkers.
Still, the Serbian environment minister,
Dragoljub Jelovic, accused NATO of trying to destroy the whole Yugoslav environment. He
said pollution in the Danube and in the atmosphere above Belgrade "knows no
"If NATO continues to attack us like this
there is no future," he said. "A vast part of Europe is in danger. Those who ordered this crime
do not have the minimum of sense."
Mr. Dzindo took journalists around the huge plant
complex, advising reporters to put handkerchiefs over their faces as they were shown two
destroyed fertilizer storage areas.
The choking air burned the eyes and nostrils and
many reporters refused to get off the tour bus.
Slobodan Tosovic, a physician and toxicology
expert, said the worst gases had been released after a cruise missile burst into a part of
the plant where plastics were made. "Not even Reagan when he attacked Libya ordered
missiles against this sort of facility," Dr. Tosovic said, adding that the explosion had produced phosgene-caronyl
chloride, along with carbon monoxide and hydrochloric acid.
Two directors of the bombed
chemical factories issue PRESS RELEASES:
Announcment of the general director of the
Petrohemija Pancevo dr.ing. Slobodan Tresac after first attack on Petrohemical complex
stated to the world public
Pancevo, 16th April 1999
It is my duty and obligation to inform the
domestic and international public that on 15th April at 22:40 NATO forces heavily bombarded the plants of the
Petrochemical Complex in Pancevo which were in
Installations and equipment of the Vinyl Chlorid
Monomer plant and Ethylene plant were directly hit. Indirectly, heavy and destructive
explosions damaged the Chloralkali plant and Polyvinilchlorid plant and buildings inside
the complex, as well as a large number of civil houses and flats in the surrounding area.
The fire broke out and huge
quantities of toxic matters such as chlorine, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride
monomer flowed out. The transformer stations were also heavily damaged and very toxic
transformer oil flowed out.
Unfortunately but unavoidably a
large number of people were injured and intoxicated. At this moment we do not know the
exact number of intoxicated and injuted civilians who were evacuatead.
Due to the power failure and utilities and
auxiliary fluids interuption a larage quantity of combustible, explosive and toxic matters
remained trapped in the equipment, installation and tanks. It will take a lot of time to
drain and evacuate all those matters from the plants before the plants could be considered
safe for a wide surrounding area.
The plants have been heavily damaged and cannot
be put in operation.
According to all the terms and
rules of warefare accepted and followed so far, the plant of chemical process industries
of this type have never been military targets and objects of strikes. The range of
products of "HIP PETROHEMIJA" DP Pancevo, is of EXCLUSIVELY CIVIL NATURE and
bombardement of these plants represents the worst war crime and it reveals GENOCIDAL INTENTIONS of the aggressor. Therefore, we call upon
the petrochemical producers, licencors, and engineering houses all over the world, to
raise their voice and warn those who give orders for bombing of the danger and
catastrophic consequences caused by bombing of this kind of plants.
HIP PETROHEMIJA PANCEVO
Dr. Ing. Slobodan Tresac
HIP AZOTARA Fertilizer Co., Pancevo, FR
Yugoslavia, severely damaged by the NATO agression on FRY.
On April 16th, 1999.
The Managing Board of HIP - AZOTARA Fertilizer
Company from Pancevo, FR Yugoslavia, issued on April 16th, 1999 the following
STATEMENT FOR THE PRESS
Last night, on April 15th 1999,
at 22:40 by Yugoslav time, NATO airstrikes hit the production Divisions of HIP - AZOTARA
Fertilizer Company, which could hardly be considered a military target.
NATO airstrikes hit directly Ammonia Division and
Power Supply Division and destroyed the Units completely. Therefore, the production of
fertilizers can not be resumed for a long period of time, since all the other Divisions
were also crippled by the side efects of the yesterday's airstrikes.
Fortunately, we made in due time
all the necessary arrangements to protect the citizens in this area and the environment,
as well. Otherwise, the citizens of Pancevo and the neighbouring villages would
be the victims of the ever greatest ECOLOGICAL CATASTROPHY. Now, we are convinced that
THIS is the objective of NATO airstrikes.
NATO IS NOW AFTER THE ECOLOGICAL
CATASTROPHY, LED BY THE GENOCIDE INTENTIONS, otherwise they would follow the War Regulations and Principles and
stick to military targets! This is strictly civilian one!
According to the estimation of the experts, the
physical damage is of extremly large proportions, and it will take us a lot of money and
time to resume the production.
Due to the safety measures that were undertaken
in due time and with great care and accuracy, the night shift operators were safe and
faced no severe injuries so far, regardless of the psychological trauma and stressful
situation they witnessed.
According to the War Regulations
and Charters [the NATO countries] all signed, the chemical plants for the production of
fertilizers NEVER in the war history had been the targets, nor could they ever be
considered military targets. Bombarding the Fertilizer Companies is the ever largest war
crime act, showing openly to the world the GENOCIDE INTENTIONS of the 19 agressor
This is our APPEAL to the fertilizer producers,
to the licesors, also to the engineering companies worldwide to rise their voices against
those who choose the targets and command the strikes, being fully aware of the effects of
such actions on the population of the region, resulting in ecological catastrophy.
The cessation of the production of fertilizers
will inevitably influence the food production leading the people to starvation, which is a
direct act against all the citizens of FR Yugoslavia.
HIP - AZOTARA
The international laws concerning
environment that NATO have breached:
- Geneva Convention brought in 1949 explicitly
says: "Use of methods and military means which aim is, or might cause wide, long term
and serious damage to environment are forbidden." The same convention envisage
protection of civilians and civilian facilities which are not to be victims of
"international military conflicts".
- Stockholm Declaration on Environment enacted in
- Convention of 1977, Article 1. The convention
states that none of the countries can use against another one military or other measures
which might have essential effects on environment or cause change in its condition.
- The World Charter on Nature enacted in 1982 It
bans use of military means if it endangers environment..