No magisterial inquiry is being held into the major fire at the Wastserv facility in Magħtab in August because the duty magistrate found that no negligence of any sort was involved, Environment Minister Jose’ Herrera said in Parliament on Wednesday. Nor was any damage caused to plant and machinery.

Replying to questions, the minister said he would have liked an inquiry to have been held and he had therefore appointed an internal inquiry, which is still under way.

He said the cause of the fire appeared to have been the flammable nature of the material deposited at Magħtab.

The best way to avoid a repeat, he said, was to have an incinerator, which would remove the need for this material to be stored.

The need for an incinerator was also reinforced by the fact that it was increasingly difficult for such materials to be exported, and dumps were therefore growing, Dr Herrera said.

The fire broke out in the early morning  of August 31 and produced a dark crowd which spread over a large part of Malta, prompting a health hazard alarm.

The fire was brought under control after a few hours.

Soil tests carried out in the vicinity a few weeks later found no contamination.

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