Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Mossmorran plant flaring causes Fife houses 'to vibrate'

Mossmorran flare Image copyright Ben Dolphin

Unplanned flaring at a Fife chemical plant caused houses to vibrate and windows and doors to rattle, residents said.

People living near the Mossmorran petrochemical plant were first alerted by a roar followed by loud rumbling noises at 09:50.

Others reported a noise like a "constant jet engine" and said they were "very angry" about the situation.

Owners ExxonMobil apologised and said the flare had stopped after six hours.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) urged residents to report any pollution by email.

'Getting worse'

James Glen, Mossmorran Action Group chairman, told the BBC Scotland news website: "The issues have never been addressed and are getting worse and worse and are becoming more frequent.

"People are very angry now as they have been putting up with it since 1985.

"We were not notified of this flaring and the first I knew was when I heard a loud roaring overhead. It's like a constant jet engine.

"People reported their doors and windows vibrating and rattling.

"There needs to be stricter monitoring of this site."

Richard Innes, 68, a resident in Lochgelly who overlooks the site, said earlier on Friday: "I was sitting at home when I was disturbed by rumbling and a loud noise from the direction of the site and then I saw a huge flame and it was quite apparent something had seriously come adrift because we hadn't been notified.

"I'm very annoyed about this because the noise is so powerful it's causing the house to vibrate. We have had tumblers and crockery rattling in the past from flaring as it gets so loud.

"It's too noisy to enjoy the garden and my wife took the washing back in because she didn't want dust from it to damage our clothes."

Image copyright PA

Jacob McAlister, plant manager at the ExxonMobil's Fife Ethylene Plant, said: "Normal operations have resumed after our team worked swiftly to resolve a mechanical issue which occurred earlier today.

"We fully understand any concerns and would like to reiterate our apology for any inconvenience caused in local communities."

A Sepa spokesman said: "Further to direct engagement with site management, Exxonmobil Chemical Ltd advised that normal operations resumed at 15:25 and unplanned flaring had ceased.

"Sepa regulatory and air quality teams are continuing monitoring. SEPA will provide a further update on the results on Monday 17th June."

More on this story