Arson suspected in toxic recycling plant fire, sources say

As an investigation gets under way into the cause of a large fire that broke out at a privately owned recycling plant in Aspropyrgos, southwest of Athens, on Saturday and burned for days, sources at the fire service said they could not rule out arson.

The plant was insured for 20 million euros, Kathimerini understands, a sum that can only be paid out, however, once an investigation into the causes of the blaze has been completed. According to sources, the company had filed for bankruptcy in early January after its debts spiraled out of control. The firm is said to owe 25 million euros to banks with its long-term debts estimated at around 45 million euros.

Environmental inspectors recorded a series of violations in checks over the years at the facility, where waste destined for recycling was simply stored, Kathimerini understands.

The fire was finally extinguished on Wednesday but only after emitting large quantities of toxic fumes over the capital.