During the night of 9 to 10 January, the Toupnot food factory in Lourdes was destroyed by a fire. The incident occurred around midnight following an incident with an electrical enclosure.
The alert was issued by employees who were working on the site clean-up. This allowed the firefighters to respond quickly. At the height of the fire, 45 units were deployed to the site.
Despite this, Captain Bruno Bille’s team, on-call column commander at SDIS, were unable to control the fires, which were of high intensity.
In the end, half of the production building and the corned beef production line were destroyed by fire. The damage is estimated at several million euros.
Risk of technical unemployment for about a hundred employees
As a result of this disaster, the recovery of the plant’s activity is still difficult to envisage in the immediate future. The 76 people working under contract, the fifteen temporary workers and subcontractors could therefore run the risk of technical unemployment, i.e. a total of around 100 employees.
In addition, a dozen houses near the site were also evacuated due to the risk of contamination with chemicals that were dispersed within the plant.