Thousands of pigs die in Northern Ireland fire

The "intense" blaze took 7 hours to put out

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The Independent Online

Up to 4,300 pigs, including over 3,000 piglets, died in an “intense” fire at a farm in Northern Ireland on Monday morning.

Three sheds were destroyed at the premises in Bessbrook, Co Armagh, near the border with the Republic of Ireland.

Firefighters were called to the site at about 5.40am, and it took crews seven hours to bring the situation under control.

Five fire trucks were called to the scene to deal with the blaze, as well as water tankers and a hydraulic platform.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman said it was reported that a fire had started at farm premises in the area, and a number of animals were evacuted.

"It is believed that extensive damage was caused to the property and diversions were in place to minimise traffic disruption.

"At this stage, the cause of the fire is still under investigation and inquiries are continuing," he added.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said: “Three sheds were totally destroyed in the blaze and unfortunately 800 sows and approximately 3,500 piglets died in the incident.”

Stormont Assembly member Danny Kennedy, who lives a short distance from the farm, expressed his shock at the situation.

“This is a very distressing incident. Not only for the loss of this number of animals, but also the impact on this local business," he said.

Additional reporting by PA