Defence Force officers in Jubilee Gardens on Sunday as smoke from the landfill forced residents to evacuate. Photo: Shawn Hanna/The Tribune
2.30pm UDPATE: THE Catholic Board of Education (CBE) has advised that as a result of the ongoing fire at the New Providence Landfill, Aquinas College will remain closed until further notice. Aquinas College will not open on Tuesday. CBE is in contact with the relevant authorities and will continue to monitor the situation carefully, a statement from the board said. “The Catholic Board of Education’s main objective is to ensure that our students, administrators and teachers return to safe and healthy school environments that are conducive to teaching and learning,” CBE said. The group urged parents to listen to local radio stations and refer to the school’s website for updates.
FIRE Chief Assistant Superintendent Walter Evans said on Monday morning that while the colour of the smoke has changed, indicating less toxic fumes in the air, the fire at the New Providence Landfill has grown overnight and firefighters are still working to contain the blaze.
The evacuation order for Jubilee Gardens is still in effect for Monday as most of the area is still covered in smoke.
According to Leslie Miller, the MP for Tall Pines, the fire raging at the city landfill has come dangerously close to the gas company on Gladstone Road and trucks have been deployed there to prevent an explosion.
The fire also crept into the yard at Aquinas College on Sunday night but was extinguished before any damage could be done to the buildings. The College is closed on Monday.
Overnight reports are that no houses were burned or destroyed. Royal Bahamas Defence Force marines were on security detail all night in affected areas, ensuring homes were not vandalised or broken into.
Depending on the winds easing, residents will be able to return home later on Monday morning from shelters at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium and Mario's Bowling.
The Bahamas Humane Society took in five animals from Jubilee Gardens on Sunday night and reports that it is set up for an influx on Monday. The BHS is asking for food, bowls, towels, pet crates or cages (clearly labelled so they can be returned).