An investigation is underway after a road train carrying tonnes of blasting material caught fire and exploded in the remote Western Australian Goldfields.
The truck was carrying ammonium nitrate emulsion, a product used in mine site blasting.
ABC News reports that one of the trailer’s wheels is believed to have caught fire near Cosmo Newbury, around 1000 kilometres east of Perth.
“The driver was able to decouple his truck and drive a safe distance before the flaming semi-trailer exploded,” said ABC News.
“The explosion occurred about 12pm on October 24, blasting a hole into the road about 1.5 metres deep and sending a cloud of hazardous smoke into the air.
“Burning debris from the explosion was also sent flying into nearby bushland, causing several small spot fires.”
The load was on its way to the Gruyere mine, 200 kilometres north-east of Laverton in WA’s Great Victoria Desert.
“The mine’s emergency response team were called to the incident along with local police, who established a two-kilometre exclusion zone around the trailer before the explosion,” reported ABC News.
The blast left a 2-metre-wide crater in the Great Central Road, which was promptly filled once it was safe to do so.
The incident is now under investigation by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
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