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:
Missile 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 Belgrade.
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 kilometres long.
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 compounds.
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 frontiers."
"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.
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 regular operation.
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
HIP AZOTARA Fertilizer Co., Pancevo, FR Yugoslavia, severely damaged by the NATO agression on FRY.
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 countries.
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.
- 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 1972
- 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..
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Last revised: April 20, 1999