Monday, 17 November 2014

Massive fire rips through meat factory in Burgos, Spain

It was apparently a short circuit, combined with ammonia, that caused a huge fire to rip through the Campofrio meat products factory in Burgos on Sunday.  While no one was hurt, the jobs of 1,000 workers are at stake.

Screen grab from RTVE video

It happened at around 6:40 a.m. Sunday in the stew section of the factory.  Two fire crews had to be called in to tackle the blaze.  Possibly caused by a short circuit, firefighters say the presence of highly flammable materials, mainly ammonia, made the fire even worse.

Residents of the surrounding areas were warned to keep their windows closed in order to avoid inhaling toxic fumes from the fire.  Hundreds of residents living close to the factory had to be evacuated by bus, and were temporarily housed in a nearby sports center.

While no one was injured in the blaze itself, four people were hurt in traffic accidents relating to the disaster. The mayor of the city, Javier Lacalle, immediately implemented an emergency plan, closing the city's ring roads to prevent more accidents.

The Campofrio factory employs 1,000 people, resident in the surrounding areas, and they are now faced with an uncertain future.  However, Campofrio management has promised "to invest in Burgos to recover production capacity as soon as possible."

Part of one of the largest producers of processed meat in the world, Campofrio's Burgos plant produces 100,000 tonnes of food each year.

Spanish sources:
El Mundo