Roof collapses at Orange's Electrolux factory

UPDATE

ELECTROLUX will remain closed until Monday after a collapsed roof caused a power-outage and flooding from fire sprinklers today.

The roof contained asbestos and specialists informed general manager Mark O'Kane that it would take at least three days before it could be safely removed.

"Safety is absolutely paramount," Mark O'Kane said.

Parts of the factory will be operational on Wednesday and employees in those areas have been notified they will be required to work, while the rest are being encouraged to take annual leave until Monday.

 "This could not have come at a worse time," Mr O'Kane said.

"This is our peak selling period."

Mr O'Kane said customers may experience delays on certain refrigeration models in the coming days.

EARLIER

AN ASBESTOS-RIDDEN roof has collapsed at Orange's Electrolux factory, causing the plant to shut down operations indefinitely.

At about 1am on Tuesday the roof of the building, which houses an electrical substation, collapsed causing power to be cut to most of the plant.

It also set off the roof sprinklers, causing minor flooding to the main assembly line. 

Workers were informed of the damage via a flyer and sent home from their shifts. 

General manager Mark O'Kane said it was impossible to know the full extent of the damage or the cause of the collapse until maintenance workers could gain full entry to the building. 

"We take safety very seriously and safety is our number one priority," Mr O'Kane said. 

"There is a specialist here right now and people are on stand-by to start work immediately."

Mr O'Kane said he was awaiting the assessment of the asbestos specialist and engineering staff before he could determine when maintenance crews could be permitted to start repairing the damage.

Mr O'Kane said he was unsure when the factory would again be operational, but he was hopeful it could re-open on Wednesday afternoon. 

"It's major ... a very unfortunate event," he said.

"We're looking at maybe getting in some stand-alone generators.

"At this point we don't know why it's happened, there were no adverse weather conditions last night."

Staff should call the factory between 1pm and 3pm on Tuesday to find out when the factory would be back up and running. 

Mr O'Kane said refrigerators would still be shipped because the storage end of the factory was not damaged. 

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