Arsonist in Westman Islands Strikes Again Skip to content

Arsonist in Westman Islands Strikes Again

One or more persons are believed to have set a herring seine on fire in the Westman Islands on Tuesday evening, causing ISK millions in damage. This is one of many unsolved cases of arson that have occurred in the islands in past years.


The Westman Islands seen from Surtsey with Eyjafjallajökull in the background. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“Unfortunately, there are many indications that a mentally ill individual is responsible,” commented Mayor of the Westman Islands Ellidi Vignisson to

The fire in the herring seine was reported shortly before 10 pm on Tuesday. The entire local fire brigade was called to the scene and they managed to prevent the fire from spreading to other fishing equipment and buildings but dangerous fumes extended from the fire.

The exact damage has yet to be evaluated but such a herring seine costs around ISK 50 million (USD 429,000, EUR 315,000). The police are certain that this is a case of arson and are investigating it as such but no one has been questioned yet.

There have been a number of cases of suspected arson in the Westman Islands in past years but they remain unsolved.

The freezing plant of Ísfélagid burnt to the ground in 2000. Other factories of the local fishing industry have also been set on fire, such as the fish liver processing plant and the fish meal factory.

Further cases of arson include a house on Hilmisgata, a storage container, dumpsters by the cemetery and equipment at the sports area.

Vignisson described the situation as very grave, stating that further development of the town’s security camera system is an option.

Click here to read about another case of a suspected arsonist.


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