Almost six months after the fire, there is still asbestos in Den Helder gardens Months later, not everything has been cleared up.

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For more than five months there has been asbestos in the gardens of residents in the south of Den Helder. The particles were released at the end of October during a fire in a warehouse of a flower bulb company.

The cleaning is in progress, but according to local residents it is going too slowly. Yvonne Waterman, expert in asbestos liability, warns NH Nieuws that it will become more difficult and more expensive to remove the asbestos if it sinks deeper into the ground.

Panic among residents

The fact that it takes a long time is partly because it was unclear for some time who should pay for the asbestos removal. The asbestos particles were blown onto the ground of the local residents, and according to the municipality they were therefore responsible for the cleaning. An account that can amount to thousands of euros per address.

But not all insurers reimburse asbestos removal. The residents were in uncertainty for weeks, because the municipality demanded through administrative enforcement that citizens pay the costs, even if the insurer does not reimburse this.

Consultations were held for six weeks and the cleaning was halted. It eventually became clear that the insurer of the bulb company would pay the bill. Much to the relief of local residents.


But months later, these people are still unable to use parts of their garden. In their own words, local residents were told by the remediation company for various reasons that the cleaning has not yet started. This could be due to a shortage of personnel. According to NH News, the company in question cannot be reached for comment.

Den Helder previously informed the regional broadcaster that the responsibility no longer lies with the municipality because the assignment has been taken over by insurer Interpolis. But that is not allowed, says Waterman: “Public responsibility for public health rests with the municipality. The municipality cannot transfer it to someone else.”

  • Large fire at flower bulb company Den Helder under control
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