September 26, 2012

Explosion at Asphalt Plant


A LARGE explosion rocked the industrial estate off Boundary Road at Narangba early this afternoon as flames engulfed a bitumen tanker at the Boral Asphalt plant.

A nearby tanker containing fuel, LPG and more bitumen was also in danger of catching alight before fire crews brought the blaze under control.
 
 Rowan Carnes was working at the mill across the road when he heard the explosion."It sounded like a tyre had popped on my forklift," he said.
 
"Next thing you know all the boys were pointing over this way and there's big smoke and flames coming out.
"It was quite large. Everyone in the whole mill, right across to the other side of the mill, could feel the concussion from it."
 
Karen Wintle said via facebook that she felt the impact at her work kilomtres away in Deception Bay.
There were 21 workers on-site when the explosion took place, including six in the immediate vicinity of the blaze, but none were injured.
 
The Boral workers were all evacuated along with more than 100 employees from neighbouring plants.
A Department of Community Services spokesperson confirmed the explosion took place at about 12.20pm.
Several police and ambulance vehicles as well as 25 fire-fighters attended in four fire trucks rushed to the scene.
 
Acting Inspector Jeff Barker, from Burpengary Command, said crews were able to see large volumes of smoke en-route and the tanker was well engulfed when they first arrived."There had actually been an explosion in the bitumen tank, which contained approximately 8000 litres of bitumen," he said.
 
"We were able to contain the fire in the tanker and therefore bring it under control."It's all been contained within the site. We've had environmental agencies here to control the runoff."Act Insp Barker said the workers "in close proximity" to the explosion were "very lucky" to escape.
 
"The explosion was quite substantial as far as I understand, with a fireball," he said.
"(There was) thick black smoke, we were lucky that the wind direction took it away from any neighbouring properties."
 
Superintendent David Tucker from Redcliffe Police District said it was still unclear what caused the explosion and Boral would be fully investigating the incident."Everything has the potential (to become very serious) but obviously the plant has acted appropriately under the circumstances and all the plans have been enacted beautifully."

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