x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Greenfields Community School to reopen after texts for toxins

Decision comes after air-quality tests were made by Dubai Municipality, Dubai Civil Defence, and independent specialists.

DUBAI // The Greenfield Community School will reopen after tests detected no residual toxins from a fire that gutted a nearby factory.

Tests were carried out near the factory and on the school premises by the municipality's environmental team, Dubai Civil Defence and independent specialists.

"We have had tests conducted in the school and as close to the site as we can get," said Clive Pierrepont, the director of communications for Taaleem, which manages the school. "The school will reopen on Sunday."

Parents had demanded assurances that the factory did not pose health risks after children complained of headaches and breathing problems.

The concern stemmed from a fire on October 11 at the Reda Industrial Materials factory in Dubai Investments Park (DIP).

The school was ordered shut twice last week after Civil Defence warned of poisonous gases from the smouldering factory.

"All parties have agreed that it is now completely safe to reopen the school on Sunday, October 23, 2011 for normal operations," read a notice on the school website by Angela Hollington, the principal.

Some parents had expressed concern about the effectiveness of the tests because of strong winds over the weekend, but a manager for the company that conducted them said they were thorough.

"Tests are always done when it's downwind - when the wind is blowing toward the school," said Christopher Rajamani of Al Hoty-Stanger Laboratories.

Paul Fairweather, a parent with two children at the school, remained worried. "The site must be cleared or the chemicals there will keep reigniting," he said.