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UPDATE: Acid explosion in Clinton is under investigation

UPDATE 10am:

WORKPLACE Health and Safety inspectors will be on the scene of where a chemical explosion occurred yesterday to investigate the incident.

A WHSQ spokesman said investigators would be looking at why acid in the cupboard exploded in the early hours of yesterday morning. 

"These are procedures that need to be followed through. Where it's in a workplace and an incident like that happens --- particularly with chemicals involved," he said.

"They'll be having a look at all aspects. I can't comment on what they'll be having a look at. But they'll be looking at why, what, all those sort of things.

No injuries were reported in the incident. But fire crews evacuated staff from the "immediate area".  

The Observer is still waiting for a response from Intertek, the company that conducts "non-destructive testing" at the building.

Non-destructive testing is used to identify surface defects in metals. 


YESTERDAY

UPDATE: 12.35pm:

ACID set off the explosion inside a laboratory cupboard at Clinton, which is used by the fuel testing arm of Intertek.

When the "owner" of the building wasn't able to decipher what chemical was behind the explosion, Gladstone fire station officer Graham Smith said fire fighters worked to "isolate which one had failed".

"To do that, we had two fire fighters in chemical suits take a photograph of the cabinet and after a process of elimination it was determined it was an acid spill," he said.  

"It's still unknown what caused the initial explosion."

Mr Smith said fire fighters evacuated workers from the "the immediate area" to the office section of the building "until we investigated".

The Queensland fire and emergency scientific officer then helped fire crews "neutralise the acid", allowing them to clean up the lab.

As a safety precaution, the power was turned off until fire fighters could worked out what had caused the explosion, "in case it was … a flammable mixture in the air".

The cabinet contained the "initial explosion" and nobody was injured.

Mr Smith said the company had told Workplace Health and Safety about the incident.

"Everyone's bemused or confused about why it's occurred," he said.

"[The company] will conduct a full investigation, the company themselves, to find out what the cause was."

The Observer is still waiting for a response from Intertek. 

UPDATE 11.00: 

INTERTEK is still declining to comment on an explosion that occurred at a building used by the company on Helen St, Clinton. 

The company delivers "non-destructive testing" services to the "Australian power generation, construction, oil, gas and mining industries", according to its website.

It's understood fire fighters are leaving the scene now, and they will be in a better position to speak shortly.    

 

UPDATE  9.20: 

The building in Clinton where a chemical explosion occurred last night is used by Intertek.

Intertek wouldn't say what had occurred.

But its website states the company delivers "non-destructive testing" services to the "Australian power generation, construction, oil, gas and mining industries".  

Emergency services were called to the building at 8.30am today.

They entered the back of the building, which is believed to be used for storage. 

Gladstone's fire service said they would be in a better position to comment in the next hour. 

More to come ...

 

This is where the explosion occurred.
This is where the explosion occurred.

 

EARLIER: 

A CUPBOARD used for storage of chemicals has blown up overnight at a building on Helen St in Clinton.

Gladstone Police and fire and emergency services are at the scene.

Emergency services were called to the building at 8.30am today.

Topics:  fire and emergency services, gladstone police




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