Huntsman Pigments plant fire: Bronto’s Aerial Platforms Put to a Real-life Durability Test

A violent fire broke out at the Huntsman Pigments facility in Meri-Pori, Finland, on 30 January 2017. It was one of the largest industrial plant fires in Finland, and even Europe. Approximately 30 rescue units and 150 people were involved in the extinguishing the fire. Bronto Skylift truck-mounted hydraulic platforms had a major role in the extinguishing mission.

The intense fire originated in the electrostatic precipitators and advanced to the roof structures from there. The situation was difficult due to the location of the fire, strong winds and the fire spreading through the facility’s pipe system.

Porin palo

Overall, the industrial facility fire at Huntsman Pigments was an extremely demanding mission. ”The fire surface area totalled approximately three hectares and the fire event was exceptionally intense. Furthermore, the fire in the roof structures was hard to reach due to its height and large scale. In processing industry sites, the chemicals used in the processing and the labyrinth-like facilities increase the difficulty of the mission”, says Petri Ekberg, Regional Fire Chief at Satakunta Fire and Rescue Department.

Three Brontos in key roles

Three Bronto aerial platforms from the Satakunta Fire and Rescue Services took part in the fire extinguishing mission. The newest platform unit was brought in the middle of the action straight from an operator training course. It was included in the mission as the trainer agreed to continue the training in real-life circumstances. The operators had previous experience with Bronto’s aerial platforms, so they could operate the unit on the basis of a customised operator training.

The Bronto units in this mission were put to a real durability test. The hydraulic platforms were in operation for up to 36 hours, during which time the equipment was only folded for transfer. Missions like this call for reliability and ease of use.

Regional Fire Chief Ekberg notes that hydraulic platforms ensure safe working conditions. In this mission, it would have been practically impossible to get the work done without hydraulic platforms. There were up to three hydraulic platform units operating in the critical fire control line at the same time. A helicopter with a bucket was also needed to put out the fire on the roof, which illustrates the scale of the fire.

The hydraulic platform manufacturer Bronto Skylift is satisfied with the success of the fire extinguishing mission and the operational reliability of the equipment. “In a demanding fire extinguishing mission like this, hydraulic platforms are in a key role. It was great to see that they made it possible to extinguish the fire safely and effectively in very demanding circumstances,” comments Sales Manager Jussi Alenius.

Bronto units