Three people are in the hospital, but stable, following a fire that broke out at the KWV bottling plant in Paarl.
Firefighters battled the blaze yesterday, managing to contain the flames that threatened to take out 90 000 litres of brandy.
To put that into perspective, that’s close to two million double brandy and cokes, or what they put away in Bloemfontein on a quiet Friday evening.
News24 reports that a KWV employee, a service provider and a municipal firefighter are suffering from smoke inhalation, but are expected to recover. The plant has sustained a considerable amount of damage.
Their capacity to bottle certain brands would therefore be temporarily impacted.
“We are currently compiling contingency plans with various service providers and related industries to assist with bottling services of those products impacted. Blending operations, full goods warehousing, logistical and related distribution operations are thankfully unaffected.”
KWV said it was thankful for the quick and efficient response by authorities.
48 officers and firefighters and 16 vehicles from the Drakenstein, Stellenbosch and Cape Winelands municipalities worked together to contain the fire.
Here’s Farmer Mike on Twitter with some footage from the scene:
Devastating wine warehouse fires in South Africa continue. This time at the KWV in Paarl. People will start inventing conspiracy theories. I truly hope that three big wine fires in a matter of weeks is a mere coincidence. pic.twitter.com/zHYaM3mG39
— Farmer Mike™ (@mikeratcliffe) November 20, 2018
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) November 20, 2018
— WineLand Magazine (@WineLandSA) November 20, 2018
Black smoke rose out of the building as the fire raged through the packaging plant:
Images of the inside of the building once the blaze was contained showing the immense damage done:
KWV say the fire is out and they are mopping up. Some production will be halted, but the company isn’t going to let something like a massive fire stop them from getting South Africans their signature drink.
Can you even braai without a brandy?
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