herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Panda plant inferno puts 250 jobs at risk

BLAZE: Eight fire crews battle flames at recycling depot

EMPLOYEES at a waste recycling plant were today fearing for their jobs following a major inferno at the plant.

The company employs more than 250 people at the recycling depot near Slane in Co Meath.

The massive fire broke out at 11.30pm last night at the Panda flagship recycling depot in Rathdrinagh, and fire crews were expected to be fighting the flames for most of today.



Fierce

Eight units of Meath Fire Brigade were at the scene through the night and early today as the massive amount of highly combustible material generated at the plant burned fiercely.

A spokesperson for Meath Fire Brigade said the blaze was under control but could take two days to be fully extinguished due to the nature of the material that was burning.

There were no reports of injuries in the fire, but of major concern today is the 250 jobs at the plant that has been destroyed in the blaze.

One worker told the Herald he only heard about the fire on the radio news this morning.

"We don't know what has happened, but it's a worry to us all now. We don't know where things will go from here," the man said.

Local sources said the fire seemed to have started in a shredding building that grinds up dry waste.

Plans

Management and workers were due to meet today to discuss plans on how to keep the remainder of the plant operating while the damage is being assessed.

Panda assured its customers that waste collections would continue today.

Panda was established in 1973 and bought by current managing director, Eamon Waters, in 1990.

It now has a turnover over in excess of €70 million each year, employing 440 people, operating a fleet of 120 Vehicles and five Waste Management Facilities.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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