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AZF : A statement by RTE

Source : RTE 04/01/2002

AZF : A statement by RTE

Over the last few days, the media has spread a new assumption ascribing the explosion at the AZF chemical plant in Toulouse to an electric arc occurring on a high voltage line (63 Kv).

Without wanting to interfere with the inquiry under way, Réseau de Transport d'Electricité (RTE), the Operator of the French public high and extra high voltage power transmission network, wishes to invalidate this hypothesis, which is unfounded.

The distances between RTE's power networks and the AZF plant are such that it is physically impossible for an electric arc generated by one of its power lines to reach the depot concerned by the explosion.

RTE constantly monitors the electrical operation of its networks and keeps accurate records of all the electrical events concerning the networks (voltage levels, intensity of the power conveyed, specific faults).

On 21 September 2001, no electrical incident in the sector of the AZF plant was recorded before and at the time the explosion occurred.

All the technical and physical data are available to the investigators