Truck suspected of containing a toxic mix of chemicals is inspected on McLintock St, near Fison St, Gladstone.
Truck suspected of containing a toxic mix of chemicals is inspected on McLintock St, near Fison St, Gladstone. Luka Kauzlaric

Firies find truck vapour to be corrosive rather than toxic

A TRUCK carting sorghum brought work to a halt at and around GrainCorp Limited's Port Central facility when a corrosive, flammable vapour was found in the cargo.

Emergency services were quick to respond to the incident, which occurred mid-morning.

Local police and fire and rescue service officers established an exclusion zone of about 100m around the truck, which was isolated on GPC property, although the land is leased by GrainCorp.

Gladstone QFRS Urban Command acting commander Craig Gregory said while fears of a toxic chemical were luckily unfounded, there was a vapour found in the load of grain, possibly due to an incorrect amount of pesticide agent being used.

"It's more of a corrosive substance, but in certain circumstances can be flammable if in a confined space and the vapour built up," he said.

A scientific officer and firefighter were kitted in chemical spill suits to investigate the suspect grain, and their gas monitoring tests returned zero readings.

The scene was declared safe on Monday afternoon, with no injuries reported from the incident.

Monday: Police have set up an exclusion zone around McLintock and Fison Sts, Gladstone, with workers downwind warned to stay indoors.

A truck containing potentially toxic cargo has been located and isolated, with Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, ambulance and police officers all in attendance.

Two fire trucks attended the scene, with another crew prepared for any civilian responses in town if required.

Eight firefighters in total secured the area, before a scientific officer and firefighter donned chemical splash suits and began testing on the cargo.

The load was believed to be sorghum, but there were complications with pesticide materials which may have led to a toxic gas forming.

An exclusion zone of about 100m was set up quickly by authorities, with nearby businesses and work sites shut down for the day, while other workers remained indoors until further notice.

Acting Commander of Gladstone QFRS Urban Command Craig Gregory said the scene was under control with the wind working in their favour as the matter was dealt with.

However, crews are on hold for rotation with other officers because of the overly hot conditions at the scene, which is on Gladstone Ports Corporation property.

 


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