Eight people, including five emergency services personnel, were injured in a truck explosion that has been described as one of the most catastrophic dangerous-goods incidents in Australia. The incident took place at Wyandra, 30 kilometres south of the town of Charleville in Queensland’s southwest outback
The truck was believed to be carrying about 50 tonnes of ammonium nitrate when it crashed and caught fire. The combination of the chemical and diesel petrol caused an explosion. Police closed the highway and set up an exclusion zone of 1.5 kilometres around the blast site while the area was secured. Catastrophic damage was caused to the highway, a bridge was destroyed and two fire trucks were destroyed in the incident.
The driver of the truck received burns to about 35 percent of his body; four fire fighters, a police officer and two bystanders were also injured in the explosion.