Tesla factory in Germany halts production after suspected arson

The factory, near Berlin, has been the subject of protests by environmental activists.
Tesla factory in Germany halts production after suspected arson
Two firefighters next to a red fire engine by the Tesla factoryEPA

Tesla halted production at its car factory in the German capital, Berlin, on Tuesday morning after a suspected arson attack nearby.

An electricity pylon close to the plant caught fire, causing power outages in the factory and nearby towns.

Local authorities are not currently linking it to environmental activists who have been protesting against the site’s expansion.

Tesla said workers had been sent home but its building was in a “safe state”.

The fire did not reach the electric car maker’s factory itself but did burn an electricity pylon and high-voltage wires.

“The rule of law will react to such an act of sabotage with the utmost severity,” said Interior Minister for Brandenburg state Michael Stuebgen.

However, he cautioned against “premature speculation” over who was responsible for the suspected arson.

There are currently around 100 environmental activists camping in the forest near the factory, protesting against its expansion.

Tesla wants to double the size of its plant – which is its only one in Europe – but the protestors are against this as it would involve chopping down nearby trees.

A protestor on a ladder up a tree next to a treehouse

Reuters

The Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday morning that a spokesperson for Robin Wood, one of the environmental groups, said they were “totally surprised by the situation” surrounding the fire.

The Tesla factory currently makes around 500,000 cars a year – the Elon Musk-owned company wants to double that.

“We are currently unable to say when production can be expected to resume,” Tesla said in a statement given to the AFP news agency.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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