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Saturday 20 September 2014

Over 4,300 pigs die in blaze after 'arson attack' on farm

Michael McHugh

Published 28/04/2014 | 11:12

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4,300 pigs were killed in the incident. Picture posed.

Up to 4,300 pigs have died in a suspected arson attack at a farm in Northern Ireland.

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The "intense" blaze destroyed three sheds at premises in Bessbrook, Co Armagh, near the border with the Republic.

A Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) spokesman said: "The fire is thought to have been started deliberately."

The incident happened at Derrywillgan Road on Saturday.

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

Five fire appliances were called as well as water tankers and a hydraulic platform.

The Fire Service 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, said he was shocked.

"This is a very distressing incident," the UUP's Newry and Armagh MLA said.

"Not only for the loss of this number of animals, but also the impact on this local business."

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