Explosion and Fire in East Iceland Smelter Skip to content

Explosion and Fire in East Iceland Smelter

An explosion occurred in the transformer plant of the Alcoa aluminum smelter in Reydarfjördur, east Iceland, on Saturday, causing a fire to spread. No one was harmed but the smelter was affected by a power outage.

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The smelter in Reydarfjördur while under construction. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“We were successful in extinguishing the fire,” Gudmundur Helgi Sigfússon, fire marshal in Fjardarbyggd municipality, told Fréttabladid. “We still don’t know what caused the explosion,” he added.

Erna Indridadóttir, information officer at Alcoa, said employees were quick to get the situation under control and restore electricity at the smelter—if the aluminum tubs are powerless for too long, the aluminum solidifies and can damage the tubs.

In Hofsós, northwest Iceland, a 70-year-old man was lucky to escape a burning house around 5:30 on Sunday morning. He was taken to the Saudárkrókur Healthcare Institute with cuts on his hands and smoke inhalation but is recovering.

All available firefighters rushed to the scene and managed to extinguish the fire about an hour afterwards. By that time the chimney was all that was left of the house.

According to the police in Saudárkrókur, the house had been in a process of restoration and a few years ago it was partly covered with wood.

The man lived in an annex of the main building and noticed the fire after the fire alarm started ringing. He managed to break a window and get out but cut his hands in the process.

It appears that the fire started in the older part of the building and that it had been burning for some time before the man woke up to the fire alarm. The man was alone in the house, which was located far from other buildings so there was never a risk of the fire spreading.

In the capital region, fire fighters were called out because of a fire in an industrial building in Kópavogur early yesterday morning. There was a lot of smoke on site but fire fighters were quick to extinguish the fire.

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