Campofrío vows to rebuild factory in Burgos, after devastating blaze

04/12/2015 16:010 commentsViews: 13

Spanish food group Campofrío said on Monday that it would open a new plant in Burgos within two years, after a fire completely destroyed a major factory in the northern city at the weekend.

Campofrío director general Fernando Valdés, and Ignacio González, who is the director general of the firm’s Spanish subsidiary, told reporters on Monday that it was still too early to talk about what might happen to the plant’s almost 900 employees. But they did admit that their aim was to “recover the production rate of 60,000 tons” in Burgos, something that could not be “done with two people.”

400 residents had to be evacuated from the area as a result of the huge cloud of smoke produced by the fire

The blaze broke out at the firm’s processed-meat plant in the city’s Villafría industrial estate at around 6.40am on Sunday. Nobody was injured, but the factory was “completely destroyed” and 400 residents had to be evacuated from the area as a result of the huge cloud of smoke produced. Firefighters said the flames were for a time “uncontrollable” owing to the presence of flammable material at the site.

Burgos Mayor Javier Lacalle said on Monday morning that the 40,000-square-meter plant could go on burning for another six days. Firefighters are continuing to tackle the blaze from the outside of the building, given that it continues to emit smoke and they are unable to enter. Only when the flames are completely extinguished will police be able to access the site to investigate the cause of the incident, meaning that the inquiry will last for at least another week.

Only when the flames are completely extinguished will police be able to access the site to investigate the cause

The two Campofrío directors said they would be studying the legal situation in which the staff now find themselves with the workers’ committee and labor unions. For now, unable to attend their place of work, employees are in a situation of “paid license,” meaning they will continue to receive their wages.

Looking to the future, Valdés and González said workers might be temporarily transferred to other factories to maintain production levels, and revealed that they had already started relocating administrative staff to its two other centers in Burgos, which employ around 900 people.

Burgos City Hall calculates that, among direct and indirect employees, the fire will affect around 2,000 families.

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