Dust ex­plo­sion closes site

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Mur­toa’s Grain­corp site was closed on Wed­nes­day last week while Coun­try Fire Author­ity crews bat­tled a struc­ture fire.

Hor­sham Con­trol Cen­tre pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer Jenny Mc­gen­nisken said sev­eral fires broke out fol­low­ing a dust ex­plo­sion about 1pm.

She said the fires were con­tained in a struc­ture at the si­los and re­spon­dents waited on spe­cial­ist equip­ment be­fore pro­ceed­ing fur­ther.

“They waited on a spe­cial­ist to ar­rive from Bal­larat with ap­pro­pri­ate high-reach fire­fight­ing equip­ment,” she said. Ms Mc­gen­nisken said it was a tricky sit­u­a­tion, with fire­fight­ers un­able to put a sig­nif­i­cant amount of wa­ter on the fires.

“There was a very high risk of fur­ther ex­plo­sions due to the volatile na­ture of the dust,” she said.

Ms Mc­gen­nisken said black smoke was vis­i­ble from quite a dis­tance from the si­los.

She said de­spite the smoke, there was no threat to the com­mu­nity.

Au­thor­i­ties con­tacted the town’s schools. Mur­toa Col­lege lead­ers evac­u­ated stu­dents to the town’s swimming pool, which was al­ready in the pipe­line due to ex­treme weather con­di­tions.

Grain­corp cor­po­rate af­fairs man­ager Luke O’donnell said the fire oc­curred in one of the si­los.

He said the site was evac­u­ated, fol­low­ing oper­a­tional pro­ce­dure.

He said emer­gency ser­vices quickly con­tained the fire, giv­ing the ‘all clear’ about 7.30pm.

“There was limited oper­a­tional im­pact and all bunkers are open,” he said.

More than six fire trucks at­tended the scene, along with a large wa­ter tanker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.