At roughly 3pm yesterday afternoon, firefighters and police were on the scene of a vehicle fire on the overpass.
The vehicle was stationary in the left lane (closest to the Rasp Mine) of the overpass headed towards the South of Broken Hill. Four firetrucks from both 238 Central Station and 239 South Station were in attendance, while local police controlled traffic at both ends of the overpass.
Station Officer (SO) Don Peters spoke to the Barrier Truth from the scene an hour after the callout and the crews were still monitoring the smouldering fire and at the cooling stage.
“So, we’ve got a car on fire, it’s carrying oxygen and acetylene,” said SO Peters. “We believe that the oxygen cylinder has already exploded but we’re unsure at this stage.”
“Acetylene is very explosive and very dangerous, so we’ve extinguished the fire which we had to fight from protection – we can’t just walk up like we normally do and put the fire out.
“When they explode it can send debris flying for 200 metres, so we need to fight the fire from protection,” he said.
“At this stage, we’re cooling the acetylene cylinder and taking temperature readings. We could be here for 24 hours doing that, depending on the state of the cylinder as we take the readings.
“The flames are pretty much extinguished now, but, because we can’t get close to it … these accelerants can blow up even 24 hours after, so we’ve got to take all precautions.”
SO Peters said to his knowledge someone was driving the car over the overpass when they became aware of the fire.
“So somebody was driving it and I believe that the oxygen cylinder exploding alerted them to the fire – that’s what I’ve heard from police, but I haven’t investigated that myself.”