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Fire at SA abattoir still burning

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January 08, 2018

A fire at a large large meat processing facility east of Adelaide is still burning after four days.

Foreign workers at a South Australian abattoir ravaged by fire are facing an uncertain future after their employment arrangements were cancelled by the company.

The blaze, at the Thomas Foods International meat processing facility at Murray Bridge, has caused millions of dollars in damage and is still burning almost a week after it broke out.

Excavators have been brought in to access to the basement of a four-storey building at the site, but the Metropolitan Fire Service expects the fire will burn into Monday evening and possibly Tuesday morning.

An MFS spokesperson said an advice message remained in place due to lingering smoke in the area.

In a statement on Monday, Thomas Foods International said workers had been sent on leave for two weeks while the company works through its "redeployment strategy".

"Our family company is committed to Murray Bridge and we are taking a long-term and sustainable approach to the recovery and rebuild."

It said it has spoken with labour hire agencies and ceased temporary employment arrangements for 417 visa workers, but would not elaborate on how many foreign workers were affected or whether alternate work would be found.

The Department of Home Affairs was contacted for comment.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the company had not requested financial assistance.

"I think that they are fully insured," he told reporters on Monday.

"Our recovery centre there has been really successful. A lot of workers have come through and they've been really happy with the information they've received."

The fire was accidentally sparked by a welder igniting an offal bin last Wednesday and severely damaged the boning rooms and storage facilities of the plant before being brought under control.

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