[WATCH] Updated | Massive fire at Magħtab waste complex

A big fire broke out at Wasteserv's Magħtab waste complex this morning • The Civil Protection Department has said that the fire will likely take all day to extinguish 

A raging fire in parts of Maghtab waste complex. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
A raging fire in parts of Maghtab waste complex. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
The fire was visible from Qawra, where residents saw the black fumes early on Friday morning. (Video: Illum/Albert Gauci Cunningham)

A massive fire that broke out at the Magħtab waste complex this morning has been brought under control by members of the Civil Protection Department (CPD).

The fire sent a huge plume of toxic black smoke into the air, with people living in the area reporting a foul smell.

The Civil Protection Department asked motoristrs to avoid driving in the area and residents to close windows. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
The Civil Protection Department asked motoristrs to avoid driving in the area and residents to close windows. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Health authorities said that people who lived in the vicinity and who suffered from heart or lung disease, or asthma were at a higher risk from exposure. They said that people experiencing any health effects should contact their doctor.

The CPD has advised people living in Naxxar, San Gwann and Sliema to keep all windows and doors closed.

Massive fire at Magħtab waste complex
Firefighters battled the massive fire
Firefighters battled the massive fire

It is unclear what caused the fire, which is believed to have started at around 6am. 

The Civil Protection Department said that it is currently involved in a massive operation, involving at least 10 fire trucks and 30 fire fighters, to contain the fire that engulfed part of landfill. Firefighters, ambulances and an animal ambulance are on site. 

Black smoke was visible from various localities around Malta
Black smoke was visible from various localities around Malta
(Photos: DOI)
(Photos: DOI)

The department confirmed that no Wasteserv workers have been injured by the fire and smoke which billowed from the facility.

In a tweet, environment minister Jose Herrera confirmed that no workers were injured and that none of the plants at the complex were damaged. Waste, he said, was being accepted as usual.

The minister is due to hold a press conference at 11am.

A CPD spokesperson said that the fire, which broke out early this morning, will in all probability take all day to contain and extinguish. 

Firefighters and members of the Civil Protection Department battled the flames (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Firefighters and members of the Civil Protection Department battled the flames (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

The CPD is also asking motorists to avoid passing through the Magħtab area and residents living in the vicinity, particularly around Naxxar, San Gwann and Sliema, to keep their windows closed.

This is the second major fire to hit a Wasteserv plant in just over a year. In May last year, the main shed at the recycling facility in Marsaskala was destroyed after waste caught fire. Firefighters had battled the flames for hours.

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe