500 Pigs Killed In Fire In Strabane Farm Blaze

Thirty-three sows and more than 400 piglets have been killed following a major fire at a pig farm near Strabane, Co Tyrone.

© Jimmy Stafford

It is understood thirty-five firefighters are tackling the blaze on the Melmount Road after being called to the scene at 5.40am today.

While almost 500 animals perished in the blaze the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service managed to rescue around 16 sows and 160 piglets from one of the two units damaged during the incident.

Five other units were saved as firefighters kept the blaze from spreading.

A cause for the fire is still under investigation.

Station Commander Kevin Lynch said: “Crews responded from Strabane to a call to a fire at Melmount road, a shed fire. When they arrived they found it was a pig farm and two of the units had already been captured in the fire.

“The crews used water and we started to fight the fire and were able to rescue several pigs from another unit and contain the fire to two units of the pig farm.”

Mr Lynch added: “We have in the region of 33 sows and over 400 piglets.”

A spokesman for the NIFRS said: “Six fire Appliances from Strabane , Newtownstewart and Castlederg Fire Stations including a Command Support Unit were deployed to the scene.

“Firefighters managed to rescue a large number of 16 sows and 160 piglets from one of the two units damaged during the incident. 5 other units were saved by Firefighters, as the fire was contained to 2 units.

“Tragically, it is believed that 33 sows and around 434 piglets perished during the incident.

“The incident finished at 1:19pm and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.”