Toxic spill on Bloomsbury, Queensland highway from truck crash

Police have established an exclusion zone after a dangerous toxic substance leaked onto a major highway following a truck crash.

The truck carrying the dangerous material rolled and crashed on the Bruce Highway around Bloomsbury near Mackay in central Queensland about 11.30am on Tuesday.

The Queensland ambulance service said the male truck driver escaped the vehicle, without any serious injuries from the crash.

The truck reportedly contained ammonium nitrate, prill and diesel. Ammonium nitrate, the substance leaking onto the road, is the main component in an explosive used in the mining industry.

The truck and its trailer were reportedly carrying five tonnes of the substance, though the truck driver said it was being carried in two separated components.

“A full-on detonator” would be required to explode the material, he told the Daily Mercury.
“You can light up ammonium nitrate prill with a cigarette lighter and it will not blow up unless it’s confined.”

Police made an emergency declaration under the Public Safety Preservation Act and established a five-kilometre exclusion zone.

Properties in the area are being evacuated, including on Stafford Road, Campbells Road, Caping Road and O’Donnells Road.

Authorities are advising anyone planning to use the road to avoid it, “or expect significant delays”.

Though there was no reason given as to how the truck had rolled, recent Queensland weather has been ripe with hazards.

There are currently 13 warnings/watches for flooding in the Queensland area, which may also be at risk of a tropical cyclone along The Gulf of Carpentaria over the rest of the week.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicted Bloomsbury to have a maximum temperature of 31C today, with a high chance of showers in the late morning and the chance of a thunderstorm.

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