Investigators probing the cause of a long-running fire at a recycling plant outside Athens, which spewed toxic fumes, are focusing on arson.
The fire began at the privately-owned facility in Aspropyrgos, southwest of the capital, on June 6 and wasn’t put out until June 11 with residents in the city smelling acrid burning plastic with health officials fearing immediate and long-term damage if dioxins get into the food chain.
Sources at the fire service said they could not rule out arson, Kathimerini reported, adding that the facility is insured for 20 million euros ($22.51 million) that can only be paid out once arson is ruled out.
The newspaper said the facility owes 25 million euros ($28.14 million) to banks and has long-term debts of 45 million euros ($50.65 million), raising suspicion.
Environmental inspectors recorded a series of violations in checks over the years at the facility, where waste that was supposed to be recycled was just kept in storage instead, undermining the country’s recycling efforts.