(CMR) The PPM lead Unity Government has had a tough week after Sunday's landfill fire ignited a firestorm of criticism. Today Premier Alden McLaughlin calling the situation “hell” and issued a public apology claiming the landfill remains a priority for his government. At a media press briefing this afternoon he shared:
“I want to say how sorry I am, and the entire government is, about yet another one of these massive landfill fires,”
The fire has been burning non-stop for the past three days after a Saturday afternoon smolder soon ignited into a massive blaze by late Sunday afternoon. Later that evening a mandatory evacuation was issued for Lakeside Apartments with multiple private and government schools having to shut down completely. Emergency shelters including the Cayman Islands Red Cross and the John Gray High School opened late into Sunday evening for residents to have a safe place to spend the night.
Residences of the Watler Road residential area (“Dog City”) were also advised to evacuate their homes. The fire also impacted local businesses with several having to close on Monday including Kirk Market and several others in the Bay Town Plaza and surrounding areas.
Additionally, the closure of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway created massive island-wide traffic gridlocks in all districts heading into town; with West Bay Residents faring the worse. Monday morning commuters complained of having to spend several hours in traffic for what would normally be a 15-minute drive.
The community was up in arms about the potential health risks and years of continued fires at the landfill. One resident addressed his concerns publically in the Prospect/Red Bay Community WhatsApp Group chat directly to the Premier:
McLaughlin responded by reminding his constituent that he has given this country the “20 of the best years of my life.”