Factory up in smoke
The smell of burning rubber followed by fast-spreading black smoke alerted workers at a Marsa meat factory that a fire had broken out near the ham-cooking machinery yesterday morning.
The four staff members present at the Prime Ltd meat factory scoured the factory floor to ensure everyone was accounted for before making their way out of the building. The fire at one of Malta’s main meat production factories was controlled within an hour by the Civil Protection Department.
“Thank God no one got hurt... but we are all in shock,” a young worker said, with tears in her eyes as she stood outside the torched factory.
The worker explained how workers were alerted to the problem when they smelt burning rubber at about 8 a.m., an hour after they reported for work.
The smoke was first seen coming from the area which holds the ham-cooking machinery. After the workers fled the building, the smoke grew in intensity, another worker said.
Smoke spread into other parts of the plant and could be seen pouring out from various windows and doors of the factory, leaving black stains on the whitewashed facade.
Five fire engines, several police cars and an ambulance were on the scene. The fumes were so strong that they spread across Marsa and other areas in the south.
One of the factory owners said he was relieved no one was injured.
He said he was not yet in a position to quantify the damage since it depended on the extent of fire damage and the state of the freezers.
Prime Ltd had invested in upgrading and expanding its Marsa factory in 2003. The company produces a wide range of products, including cooked ham, bacon, sausages and burgers.