Thomas Foods International clean-up begins after Murray Bridge meatworks fire | video

The demolition and clean-up of Thomas Foods International's fire-damaged Murray Bridge meat works has begun.

Six Royal Park Salvage trucks were lined up on Lagoon Road yesterday, awaiting the tonnes of charred rubble and scorched metal that formerly made up its boning rooms and nearby facilities.

The clean-up continued on Tuesday as the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) stepped in to supervise the removal of carcasses that had been stored in chiller rooms damaged by the fire.

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The catastrophic fire at Thomas Foods' Murray Bridge meatworks was started by a worker welding and swept through the giant meatworks on January 3.

All employees were safely evacuated, but the factory's largest building was destroyed.

The carcasses will be taken to Brinkley for disposal in a lined and properly prepared cell at the landfill there.

EPA officers will keep an eye on both ends of the process to ensure the smell does not cause any public nuisance.

SA Health has advised that while the smells coming from the plant may be unpleasant, they are not poisonous or toxic, and should dissapate once the carcasses are removed.

Workers clear away wreckage at Thomas Foods International on Monday. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Workers clear away wreckage at Thomas Foods International on Monday. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Mehdi Doroudi, chair of a task force dealing with the fire's aftermath, said regular meetings were taking place in the early stages of the clean-up and rebuilding process.

"Access to the site is still limited and TFI is yet to complete a full assessment of the damage," he said.

"However, it's now been assessed as safe to remove the carcasses which were hanging in chiller storage rooms in the abattoir at the time of the fire.

"I commend Thomas Foods for the way they continue to handle this devastating event.

Workers clear away wreckage at Thomas Foods International on Monday. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Workers clear away wreckage at Thomas Foods International on Monday. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

"They are working around the clock to keep staff informed, as well as reassure customers and the wider community of their commitment to move forward and rebuild."

In a statement, Thomas Foods said they were working with the relevant authorities to ensure the controlled and efficient removal of the carcasses as a priority.

  • Counselling and support for TFI workers: Call 1800 302 787 or visit the information centre at Murray Bridge Town Hall between 8.30am and 5.30pm on weekdays.