The largest environmental disaster recorded in the Basque Country has already written a 100-day history. The past occurred February 6 in Zaldibar, when the landfill managed by the company Verter Recycling burst and took the lives of two workers, Alberto Sololuze and Joaquín Beltrán, still missing. So this Saturday was a day to remember. “A hundred days have passed since thousands and thousands of tons of garbage fell down the slope; since the two operatives were dragged and buried in tons of dirt and garbage; since the rescue teams worked without any protection between asbestos and toxic substances, ”the Zaldibar Argitu platform denounced in a statement, which organized rallies in memory of the two disappeared in two parts of Biscay territory, Zaldibar and Zalla, and in Elgeta, in Gipuzkoa.
In the encartado municipality, Joaquín’s closest relatives – his wife and children – were supported by some 200 neighbors, with a mask and respecting the safety distance. “We are devastated, destroyed and busted,” sources close to them expressed anxiously to EL CORREO. “It seems incredible that in the 21st century the time that has passed has passed and they have not yet been found.” “We feel left by the institutions,” added the same sources.
News opinion No Forgetting Pedro Alberdi“One hundred days, enough is enough!” Claimed those present at the protest. «A hundred days have passed since Alberto and Joaquín went to work and did not return home; ever since an impossible void was created. Our warmest hug to your family, friends and close friends ”, they pointed out from the platform, for which the search for the disappeared must be“ a priority issue ”. So it demands that continue the work “with all the necessary means” and “guarantees” are offered so that what happened in Zaldibar “will never happen again.”
“They owe us the truth”
Protesters also demanded “transparency” about the catastrophe. “They owe us the truth, they owe us information. The questions and demands of citizens deserve answers », they argued, three days after Brussels pledged to open an investigation to analyze the “major deficiencies” that precipitated the tragedy at the landfill.
From Zaldibar Argitu they defended a “public, correct and rigorous” waste management. And they advanced that they will continue mobilizing “in defense of our health and our lives and until responsibilities are cleared”.
109,000 square meters of land searched for bodies
The search operation launched at the Zaldibar landfill to find the bodies of Alberto and Joaquín has already extracted and reviewed, so far without success, 109,395 square meters of waste, as reported by the Basque Government yesterday. Two of the four search areas that were defined by the Directorate of Emergency Care and Meteorology to prioritize the screening and extraction of waste, B3 (closest to the highway) and B2 (the top), are fully revised and clean.
Meanwhile, this same week, work has started again in the B4 search, screening and extraction area with a digging team with a rake, in the part closest to the deposit where the temporary collection of waste is carried out. As explained yesterday by the regional government, as the medium-high part of landslide D2 is lightened in the coming days, the areas near the number 1 waste deposit may also be excavated.
Search tasks continue to be carried out during the normal hours from 8:30 to 19:00. Technical intervention personnel and the Mobile Brigade of the Ertzaintza continue to observe and monitor the waste that is removed, extracted and screened in the search process for the two missing workers.