A farm blaze that killed thousands of pigs in Northern Ireland was accidental, fire investigators have said.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service initially expressed concern the fire that potentially claimed as many as 4,300 animals may have been started deliberately, but tonight a spokesman for the service said it was now being treated as “accidental ignition”.

Investigations are continuing to identify the exact source of the devastating incident.

Carcasses of the sows and piglets were being removed from the farm near Bessbrook, Co Armagh, in a major clean-up operation throughout today.

The NIFRS has estimated that 800 sows and 3,500 piglets perished in what it described as an “intense” blaze. However, it is understood the owner of the property believes the death toll could be lower.

A significant number of pigs survived the fire in the early hours of Saturday, having been evacuated from the building as the flames took hold.

Read the full story via Wexford Echo — Fire that killed thousands of pigs an accident, investigators say – Wexford Echo.