Truck explosion at Wyandra

 
  tasrail2100 Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane, Queensland.
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/truck-explosion-injures-eight-closes-mitchell-highway-20140906-10dam3.html

A truck carrying ammonium-nitrate has crashed and exploded at Wyandra.  A photo from the Channel 7 news Twitter feed shows a reasonable amount of damage to the (already closed) railway line.

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  JoppaJunction Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
What rail line would that be?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Fat chance the railway bridge will get repaired.

They could call the ARMY In to finish off the bridge as a training exercise (making a bomb explosion scene safe for the public)
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
A truck carrying ammonium-nitrate has crashed and exploded at Wyandra. A photo from the Channel 7 news Twitter feed shows a reasonable amount of damage to the (already closed) railway line.
tasrail2100

I have traced last night’s ammonium nitrate truck explosion to Angellala Creek south of the Westgate junction south of Charleville. Angellala Creek is marked as 644 km on the track diagram with zero km on that track diagram being Toowoomba on the Western_System_1_Oct_01 PDF that I downloaded from the then QR site. Charleville is marked as 616 km and Wyandra is marked as about 714 km. The news said 30 km south of Charleville so maybe not Wyandra area.

EDIT; Westgate is the Quilpie line junction so Quilpie line not blocked by this damage.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
So what line has been damaged an what traffic uses the line ?
  Johnmc Moderator

Location: Cloncurry, Queensland
It's on the Charleville-Cunnamulla line.  It's still open, but i don't believe it's had any traffic since the Westlander was reduced to Charleville.  Unlike Quilpie, it didn't get much (if any) livestock traffic.  So unless someone is found liable enough to pay damages, I dare say this might be the end of the Cunamulla line.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
It's on the Charleville-Cunnamulla line. It's still open, but i don't believe it's had any traffic since the Westlander was reduced to Charleville. Unlike Quilpie, it didn't get much (if any) livestock traffic. So unless someone is found liable enough to pay damages, I dare say this might be the end of the Cunamulla line.
Johnmc

So incorrect on most counts....Rolling Eyes

The Westlander was truncated to Charleville around 10 years ago and up until a couple of years ago there were freights operating from Charleville to Cunnamulla.

The floods of 3 to 4 years ago damaged the line and the withdrawal of the light loco's saw the end of the freight service.

The bridge that's been destroyed was the only unique feature on the line between Westgate and Cunnamulla and now its destroyed....very sad indeed for such a unique structure to be destroyed by the opposition (road transport)to rail freight. On my many trips through the south west I always enjoyed the view of the bridge....

I'm glad I've taken several pics over the years....Crying or Very sad

Agree with Petan...Wyandra is around 100Km from the incident

Mike.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The truck and cargo was probably uninsured, so the owner goes Into liquidation.
  Sunbird Locomotive Fireman

The Cunnamulla line johnmc, is effectively the "Living dead".
It is on paper still open but hasn't seen a train in two years and almost certainly will never see a revenue train again.
Governments do this because they don't want political heat over closing rural branch lines.
So they just stop using it, then after a few years the infrastructure will have rotted and rusted beyond repair and the locals will have forgotten about the railway.
Once this has occurred  they can then quietly declare the line officially closed.
I expect the government will use the loss of this bridge to officially close it.
I bet there are a few bean counters in government who are thinking "why couldn't this have happened ten years ago".
  Johnmc Moderator

Location: Cloncurry, Queensland
The Cunnamulla line johnmc, is effectively the "Living dead".
It is on paper still open but hasn't seen a train in two years and almost certainly will never see a revenue train again.
Governments do this because they don't want political heat over closing rural branch lines.
So they just stop using it, then after a few years the infrastructure will have rotted and rusted beyond repair and the locals will have forgotten about the railway.
Once this has occurred they can then quietly declare the line officially closed.
I expect the government will use the loss of this bridge to officially close it.
I bet there are a few bean counters in government who are thinking "why couldn't this have happened ten years ago".
Sunbird

That's the definition of "open" i was using.  It was a brief summation of the lines status for the sake of our interste bretheren.  I'm not quite sure it's deserving of The Vinelander's rather dismissive "incorrect on so many counts" assessment.  

Cunnamulla never had the livestock traffic of Quilpie, so when general freight went to truck, there was not a lot left to hold it up.
  mb67 Junior Train Controller

The truck and cargo was probably uninsured, so the owner goes Into liquidation.
Nightfire

Err... ammonium nitrate loads would definitely be insured. It's pretty volatile stuff (as seen).
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Just who would insure a cargo like that, people are paid big $ to be even near It.
  fred59 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Boonah
So incorrect on most counts....Rolling Eyes

The Westlander was truncated to Charleville around 10 years ago and up until a couple of years ago there were freights operating from Charleville to Cunnamulla.

The floods of 3 to 4 years ago damaged the line and the withdrawal of the light loco's saw the end of the freight service.

The bridge that's been destroyed was the only unique feature on the line between Westgate and Cunnamulla and now its destroyed....very sad indeed for such a unique structure to be destroyed by the opposition (road transport)to rail freight. On my many trips through the south west I always enjoyed the view of the bridge....

I'm glad I've taken several pics over the years....Crying or Very sad

Agree with Petan...Wyandra is around 100Km from the incident

Mike.
"The Vinelander"


Mike any chance you could post some of your photos of the bridge you took over the years

Thanks
Fred
  qredge Deputy Commissioner

Location: Marsden Qld
Both Cunnamulla and Quilpie lines have been red boarded at Charleville so no trains have been operating on either for many months or years in the Cunnamulla area
The only train west of the grain/coal area for a long time has been the Westlander which will most likely cease running at end of year when the M series of cars are withdrawn. So it will be goodbye to even Charleville
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Just who would insure a cargo like that, people are paid big $ to be even near It.
Nightfire

All freight is insured. The stuff comes from Incitec (former ICI Australia) and they normally have reasonable standards.

The general freight on the line was barely a a few B-double loads a week. So it went the natural course. No govt sly, conspiracy thing about it. Rail is not the most economic option to convey general freight to a town like Cunumulla and hasn't been since the 70's.

QR/QT would run cattle trains, but they gave the cattle mob a ultimatum, rake loads or nothing. To be honest I think this is fair. Charlieville could have been upgraded to a rail head conveying full train loads, but I suspect even the volumes to here is still not really viable and you need to perhaps call it quits at Roma or Mitchell. I'm not sure if Cunumulla was on the chopping block in 1994, but it probably should have been closed then.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
One serious problem emergency service personal have when responding to truck crashes, Is knowing what the truck Is carrying !

It Is very common for smaller operators / owner divers (companies running on the smell of an oily rag) to not bother (time /permits Is money) to display the required placard signage on their vehicle/truck.

So In the event of a crash, emergency service personal have to first look at what cargo Is being carried on board.

Sh1t Is going to hit the fan In this crash case In Queensland as the health and safety of emergency service personal Is much more Important than the welfare of the Injured driver, should of been a job fore explosive experts not road rescue !

Extremely lucky that 8 people were only Injured.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Sometimes these types of potentially explosive cargoes have exploded while on rail transport in suburban QLD areas eg Cairns, 1987. In a massive fireball, a BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion) in an LPG tank at the railway yards killed one and injured 27. Quote from http://www.emergency.qld.gov.au/publications/emergency/2005_sept/pdf/Emergency_Sept_05_p16-19.pdf

More of this suburban Cairns rail gas tanker disaster with image https://www.emknowledge.gov.au/resource/?id=1426
  Expost Chief Commissioner

The great unknowing would be really surprised exactly how much DGs there are out there, and where it travels.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The great unknowing would be really surprised exactly how much DGs there are out there, and where it travels.
Expost

Ammonium nitrate is used for two things, blowing up stuff (mining is a big user) and fertilizer (cotton is a big user).

However, I was under the impression that cotton had moved to direct injection of liquid ammonia into the ground. As the area south of Charlieville is cattle country. Dirrinbandi/Moree region is cotton/grain.

To know what the end user was likely to be you need to know was it liquid or solid. Gladstone makes both, well did a few years back. Liquid ammonium nitrate, which is up to 60% concentrated is very very hard to get hold of since Sept 11.

Yes, I'm surprised no one was killed considering the damage, they must have been clearing the area and away from the vehicle. No way a human body would have survived (intact) a blast that blew up a bridge so they must have been well back. The driver would have told them what he was carrying and/or the DG signs been very obvious for this to have been the case.

Regards
Shane
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Ammonium nitrate is used for two things, blowing up stuff (mining is a big user) and fertilizer (cotton is a big user).

However, I was under the impression that cotton had moved to direct injection of liquid ammonia into the ground. As the area south of Charlieville is cattle country. Dirrinbandi/Moree region is cotton/grain.

To know what the end user was likely to be you need to know was it liquid or solid. Gladstone makes both, well did a few years back. Liquid ammonium nitrate, which is up to 60% concentrated is very very hard to get hold of since Sept 11.

Yes, I'm surprised no one was killed considering the damage, they must have been clearing the area and away from the vehicle. No way a human body would have survived (intact) a blast that blew up a bridge so they must have been well back. The driver would have told them what he was carrying and/or the DG signs been very obvious for this to have been the case.

Regards
Shane
RTT_Rules


Travelling on that road would most likely mean the product came from the ammonium nitrate plants at Gladstone, Moura or Moranbah and was bound for Cobar or Broken Hill. Looks like Queensland nitropril doesn't like the change of gauge at Brisbane.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
One serious problem emergency service personal have when responding to truck crashes, Is knowing what the truck Is carrying !

It Is very common for smaller operators / owner divers (companies running on the smell of an oily rag) to not bother (time /permits Is money) to display the required placard signage on their vehicle/truck.

So In the event of a crash, emergency service personal have to first look at what cargo Is being carried on board.

Sh1t Is going to hit the fan In this crash case In Queensland as the health and safety of emergency service personal Is much more Important than the welfare of the Injured driver, should of been a job fore explosive experts not road rescue !

Extremely lucky that 8 people were only Injured.
Nightfire

If it was a reasonable amount of Liq Ammonium Nitrate, it won't be a small operator from a local warehouse. It will be a truck mostly likely direct from Orica and they will ensure the driver is operating to the required standards as the shipper is accountable.

I used (12 years back) to ship DG/Hazardous waste goods out of Gladstone (across road from Orica). I used  to ensure every drum was labeled, the labels faced the out side of the truck and the pallets they sat on where in good shape. Each drum was sealed and in good order and carrying exactly what the DG form said (dry/damp powder). The driver showed me his DG licence and likewise the trailer certificate. Before I allowed the gate to be opened he had the right diamonds front and back and he had tarped down correctly and secure the drums with gates and all was in good order. I also printed out the destination in Brisbane and a map how to get there and made it clear he knew where that was(some drivers I surprised I didn't wipe their smeg in the dunny as well) . Also we down checked all paperwork. The whole loading process took 90min by my FL driver and the truck driver 30-60min to do his part.

One time I was out of town, so I gave all instructions to someone on site, what signs to show, labeling etc and we using the usual large trucking company. The company sent a non-licensed DG trailer, it was a B-double for a start which isn't allowed (then). Nor was driver certified and they loaded a few drums that didn't have the right waste, liquid not solid form. The driver noticed a leak at Gin Gin Petrol station and on advice from another driver called the fire brigade. I believe the trucking company was fined as they knew what they were carrying and previous experience in doing so but didn't comply and I believe my company was fined for not ensuring the transport process meet the required standards (also the former DG qualified warehouse Supervisor had left and the no one on site was qualified), however we were all laid off 3 mth later for other reasons when the business failed so not actually sure what happened. I was never asked to supply more than a written statement and copy of emails.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
As part of CFA Fire and Rescue training we are warned on all possible shonky behavours of road users and trucks unlawfully carrying dangerousness goods Is rife.

Sadly In a lot of cases the driver of the truck Is only a limited skilled labourer who only know how to drive a vehicle, knowing nothing about maximum gross weights or goods that can or can't be carried.
Their boss Is a profit orientated business person how cares little about safety.

That's the road transport Industry one of the most dangerousness Industries In Australia.
No doubt there are plenty of road operators who dot every i and cross every t out there.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
From the photos of the damaged Fire Appliance, and the fact that firemen and a police officer are amongst the injured, it becomes obvious that the explosion did NOT occur as part of the initial truck roll over.
From those photos it would appear the rail bridge was not "Blown up" as such but more blown off the piers. (look at the lean on the approach sections!)

In the Mining industry, Ammonium Nitrate is mixed with other items to make explosives (Diesel oil and water plus another item)
The question becomes, did the spilt fuel from the truck make the explosion possible?

I think I'd wait for the investigation report on this one before blaming it on "Rouge trucking companies"
  Expost Chief Commissioner

No, the explosion didn't occur as part of the initial accident. The driver was extracted, and made it to hospital (I believe he is now in a Brisbane hospital) I heard this morning on the media those who rescued him are going to be nominated for bravery awards.

The damage to the fire unit proves a later explosion. I have been told a police car,  parked 2km away from the scene (possibly exclusion zone boundary) received a broken windscreen from the explosion.

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