Truck driver fights for life after explosion
THE man injured after a truck carrying chemicals from Gladstone exploded at the weekend is fighting for his life in a Brisbane Hospital.
The 33-year-old Mackay man had been transporting a chemical substance from Gladstone to South Australia when the truck exploded near Charleville.
The truck was from Kalari Transport, carrying chemicals from Orica's Gladstone plant.
Eight people were injured in the explosion, which completely destroyed the area.
Four firefighters, one police officer and two passersby were among the wounded.
The four firemen injured while trying to save the truck driver are expected to make full recoveries.
Two remain in Toowoomba Hospital while another two were discharged from Charleville Hospital on Saturday.
Emergency service crews, who pulled the Mackay driver from the cab, have been praised for risking their lives to get the driver out.
A two-kilometre zone around the blast site has been cordoned off and a scientific team is waiting in Charleville until the area is safe to enter, Sky News reports.
The Cunnamulla Road between Charleville and Wyandra was closed to all traffic after the truck roll-over at about 9.50pm on Friday.
Truck drivers travelling through central Queensland will be forced to take a 750km detour to reach Charleville after the explosion destroyed a section of the Mitchell Highway.
Long-haul drivers travelling from southern states have traditionally used the long stretch of road to drive through central Queensland, News Ltd reports.
Transport groups said truck drivers travelling from the south would likely have to detour at Cunnamulla, head east through St George, north through Roma and back west to Charleville.