UPDATED (2): Fire breaks out at a Wasteserv Plant in Marsa – residents were warned that fumes are toxic

Civil Protection employees took two hours to extinguish fires that swept through the WasteServ Plant at Marsa which processes animal waste, after an emergency call was received at 7.30 am this morning. No one was injured and no damage was caused to the plant.

Persons in the vicinity had to be evacuated because in the plant’s underground area gas cylinders were stored, creating a dangerous situation, said the Director of the CPD, Emanuel Psaila. The operation involved various units dealing with emergencies, both on land and at sea.

He explained that residents in Paola, Fgura, Tarxien and Santa Lucia were asked to keep their windows closed until the fires were extinguished because the fumes from the fire were considered to be toxic.

The two hour operation which was coordinated by the CPD was successful and Wasteserv’s operations could continue while the amount of damage caused was controlled.

The CEO of Wasteserv, Richard Bilocca, said that the fire broke out in the plant’s yard and did not spread. “It seems to have originated from what we call ‘bone meal’ which is the product which emerges from the plant before the material can be processed in the incinerator. The fire did not spread to near the incinerator nor did it go towards the structure of the autoclave. The fire was controlled in the yard itself.”

Questioned about how it started, Mr Bilocca replied that it was still too early to establish this and added that a Magisterial inquiry has been opened along with an internal investigation by the company.