Fire destroys large processing plant in Chile

Blumar boxes on proudction line

A large salmon processing plant in southern Chile has been severely damaged by fire.

The site, near the city of Punta Arenas, employs several hundred people and belongs to Entrevientos, which is owned in turn by the aquaculture companies Blumar and Multiexport Foods, also known as Multi X.

Large flames followed by a huge pall of smoke were seen coming from the building yesterday.

The blaze broke out around 10 am and was brought under control about five hours later. A large number of the city’s firefighting vehicles were in action throughout.

Reports suggest that it was started by sparks in one of the warehouses.

The staff had been evacuated and there are no reports of any injuries, but it will be some time before the site is back in action – if at all.

The company said the damage had been extensive and production had been halted until further notice. The one positive note is that the flames did not reach some parts of the site, such as the refrigeration area.

The 9,000 square metre factory is fairly new, completed just over three years ago at a cost of around £45 million.

Blumar is a major global name in aquaculture and fishing with more than 60 years’ experience.

In the case of salmon, this product is sold both fresh and frozen, with its main market in the United States where it has a commercial office that distributes throughout the country.

Other important markets are in Brazil and Latin American generally, along with European and Asian countries.

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