19 April 2012
Killer gas found in illegal refrigerant seizure
A CONSIGNMENT of refrigerant seized by Russian customs contained cylinders of the dangerous methyl chloride cocktail blamed for the fatal reefer explosions last year. Rumours of the seizure first appeared in Russian newspaper reports at the end of February.
UNEP has now confirmed that customs officers at the port of Saint Petersburg seized 1150 cylinders totalling more than 19 tonnes of ozone-depleting substances.
The cylinders originated from China and were shipped by sea via Gdansk in Poland. They were declared as R134a but actually comprised 3320kg of R12, 2490kg of R113, 4980kg of R141b as well 8300kg of the dangerous R22/R40 mixture implicated in three deaths in reefer explosions last year. Investigations are ongoing.