Two people have been killed by an explosion at the Valdi FeursMetal plant in Feurs, France.
The incident happened on Saturday morning when some hot water and steam began leaking from a furnace. Employees left the building, but two maintenance workers entered the area to assess the leak, but were killed by an explosion in the furnace that also caused heavy damage to the facility.
Sixty firefighters managed to prevent the damage from getting much worse, with most of it coming from the explosion.
An investigation into involuntary homicide at the plant is now taking place. The prosecutor said: “We must now bring in an expert and the labour inspector to assess the situation on the spot.”
It is not yet known what impact this will have on the facility, with it being one of the main battery recycling facilities in Europe. Many UK batteries, especially alkaline batteries which represent about 80 per cent of all batteries, were sent to the plant for recycling.
Valdi is one of the largest battery recycling facilities in France. With the closure of the Citron SA battery recycling company last December due to administration, capacity in France could be drastically reduced if the facility remains closed for a lengthy period. With German battery recycling facilities largely working at full capacity, this could lead to UK exporters paying more to get batteries recycled as there will be higher demand for using battery recycling services.