Musk criticises 'eco-terrorists' as fire breaks out in Tesla factory near Berlin

Musk criticises 'eco-terrorists' as fire breaks out in Tesla factory near Berlin

An “anti-authoritarian” group has taken responsibility for a suspected arson attack at Elon Musk’s Tesla car factory in Berlin on Tuesday.

Posting a 2,500 word open letter on alternative media website Kontrapolis, the 'Volcano group' said they were to blame for the attack.

The group said that Tesla’s Gigafactory “has become known for its extreme conditions of exploitation” and said that the attack was a gift marking International Women’s Day on March 8th.

Elon Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla, took to X slamming the group as " either the dumbest eco-terrorists on Earth or they're puppets of those who don't have good environmental goals."

The entire plant, located 30km outside of Berlin lost electricity when a power pole caught fire at 4:50 am. The Oderland Regional Control Centre said that the nearby city of Erkner and parts of the southeast of Berlin were without electricity as a result of the attack.

A tent belonging to eco-activists was discovered near the site.

A spokesperson for Tesla told the Berliner Zeitung that they have “taken all measures to secure production facilities."

Although the letter has not been verified by the local police, Brandenburg police have said that they have filed the incident as arson, as initial investigations indicate the fire did not start by itself.

The Interior Minister for Brandenburg State Michael Stuebgen commented that authorities will punish those responsible said "with the utmost severity." Brandenburg's Minister President called the "suspicion" a "serious attack on our critical infrastructure."

Activists have been occupying a forest area around the factory since Thursday last week. Local police are tolerating the occupation until March 15th under the conditions they do not light fires or leave rubbish in the area.

Power has returned to the surrounding communities, but is expected to remain out at the site of the factory for several days.

Tesla's shares dropped 4.5% on Tuesday as production in the factory is not expected to resume for several days.

The factory in Berlin produced up to 375,000 electric cars a year and has plans to increase its capacity, a move that is strongly opposed by environmental groups.