News

Laminex factory ‘fireball’ blast leaves workers rattled

STILL IN BUSINESS: Gympie’s Laminex particle board plant on the Tin can Bay Road is back in production after Sunday’s fire.
STILL IN BUSINESS: Gympie’s Laminex particle board plant on the Tin can Bay Road is back in production after Sunday’s fire. File Photo

A SUSPECTED sawdust explosion led to a major fire at Gympie's Laminex factory on Sunday morning.

The factory, one of the region's significant employers, was damaged but not critically, according to a response from Laminex owner, the Fletcher Building Company.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokesman said the blaze led to a marathon 13-hour operation, with "21 fire fighters on the ground at the peak."

Two nearby workers escaped injury when a large fireball erupted in a section of the factory where wood fibres are pumped into presses to make fibreboard.

A handful of employees were in the immediate vicinity of the explosion.

Two of them were within metres. Neither was injured but one was said to have been "a bit rattled."

The Gympie Times has been told workmen smelt smoke about 3.30am near the plant's G2 press.

They immediately investigated and discovered flames in one of the fibre bins. The flames were extinguished with fire extinguishers.

But the fire either re-ignited or had continued smouldering. internally.

"The next minute it just went "Boosh!" and burst into flames," one fire fighter said.

"It was very loud. It was an explosion. Coals and ash shot out the side," he said.

"We got the call about 3.45am," the QFES spokesman said. "We were on site until 4.30pm.

"The damage was quite extensive and was in amongst machinery, so it was difficult to be sure it was out.

"They say it exploded in a very large fireball.

"Five fire appliances were there, with two special appliances (a long ladder vehicle and a communication centre truck with thermal imaging equipment and rest facilities).

Although the incident was spectacular, it seems the damage was contained and the employment of an estimated 200 workers remains safe.

"As of today, our manufacturing plant is fully operational," the spokesman said yesterday. The fire had caused "no impact on our ability to make product and to service our customers.

"The affected part of the plant will be cleaned up and recommissioned as soon as possible.

"There will be a thorough investigation and until this is completed we will not speculate on the cause of the fire," he said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  blast explosion factory gympie workers



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Where to find the best coffee

Strauss is known for its superb brew.

COFFEE snobbery is at an all-time high.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Green shirts the enemies of the environment: letter

"Green shirts” have become the enemies of the environment, this letter writer claims.

Push for green energy is doing more damage than good: letter

Bosses must register for backpacker tax rate

Llew O'Brien

Gympie bosses must register to get backpacker tax rate

Mary River group ups pressure over Colton coal mine

The Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee wants the Federal Environment Minister to reconsider the Colton Coal Mine proposal. Tanzi Smith is a spokeswoman for the MRCCC.

Mary River group ups pressure over Colton coal mine

Local Partners

Gympie naturalist club weeds out feral plants

SINCE coming to live at Brooloo Allan and Dianne Pratt have devoted most of their time to removing and getting rid of a huge amount of feral plants.


Party Outback at the Kenilworth Hotel

PARTY OUTBACK: The Kenilworth Hotel aims to keep live music in pubs alive.

Kenilworth hosts live music

Kandanga hosts food and agribusiness forum

LOCALLY FRESH: A free food and agribusiness forum will be held in Kandanga this week.

Food and agribusiness forum to be held in Kandanga on Thursday

What's on in Gympie this weekend?

KEEP ROLLING: The long-awaited opening of Gympie's Skatezone is this weekend.

From roller skating to community expos, there's plenty on.

'I wasn't naked': Blanca Blanco speaks out

BLANCA Blanco made headlines around the world after 'accidentally' flashing, but she says she was actually wearing a nude bodysuit.

‘IT’S A LITTLE SAD’: Trump makes Oscars bungle all about him

US President Donald Trump claims Hollywood's elite were too busy mocking him to pay attention on Oscars night.

Donald Trump ‘explains’ Oscars stuff up.

Lama and Sarah’s ‘epic’ MKR fail

My Kitchen Rules contestants Lama and Sarah.

Tempers flare as Lebanese feast turns into an epic fail.

Oscars 2017: How did biggest award get stuffed up?

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

'Guys in headsets starting buzzing around. They took the envelope.'

Lisa Curry can't marry her fiance

Lisa Curry breaks down in the jungle.

Lisa Curry says she can’t get married to her fiance

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

Faye Dunaway, left, and Warren Beatty present the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Oscars ended with a moment that left everyone speechless.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

Agent: Mary Valley in 'happy place' after Imbil mega auction

Auctioneer Gordon Macdonald (left) with Ron Jeffery front the crowd in preparation to start Ron Jeffery's record largest auction.

Two sold, more in negotiations following Imbil mega auction.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!