One Dead and Dozens Evacuated after Chemical Blast

A second worker sustained injuries.

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

October 12, 2023

1 Min Read
Fire at chemical facility kills one
Paramedics monitored 28 workers from the plant and adjoining factories at evacuation points for any signs of chemical exposure.Image courtesy of MattGush / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A worker has been killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in Derrimut, in Melbourne, Australia's west.

The body of the 44-year-old man was found inside the ACB Group factory after the incident at 9:45 a.m. this morning, which was believed to have been caused by a chemical reaction.

A second worker was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Paramedics monitored 28 workers from the plant and adjoining factories at evacuation points for any signs of chemical exposure.

The explosion caused a small fire that was contained to the rear of the factory with help from a sprinkler system.

Around 80 firefighters responded from surrounding districts across Melbourne.

Fire Rescue Victoria Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dominic Scarfe said the exact chemicals involved were yet to be confirmed.

"The brigade's got a scientific officer at the moment going through that and we've got investigators trying to establish what caused [the explosion]," he said.

He said a community warning was initially put out for the industrial estate and surrounding suburbs but the risk had reduced.

"Our challenge now is we've managed to contain all the water that was used to extinguish the fire on site. and we've got contractors coming in to remove that,"  Scarfe said.

"We don't want that water getting into the stormwater and local creeks."

The Environment Protection Authority said it did not believe any firewater had escaped the site, but it would continue checking stormwater drains and waterways as a precaution.

Ambulance Victoria monitored the health and welfare of firefighters who entered the plant.

Worksafe has launched an investigation into the incident.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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