Dust explosion closes site
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.