Final final update: With thanks to Kane Bond for the link, video of one of this morning’s many explosions.
Final Update 10:10am: The fire continues to burn, however the alert advising people to remain indoors in Northern Canberra has now been lifted. Public schools in Canberra’s north are closed however they are maintaining a skeleton staff to supervise any children who have turned up.
Apologies for the delay. I was operating on one single hour of sleep in about 38 hours and needed to get a bit of sleep, especially seeing as I have to drive back to Canberra today. I hope you are all well. I am certainly feeling refreshed. End Update
Urgent Update 5:14am: The alert for toxic smoke now covers a 10km radius around Mitchell. That’s almost all of Canberra north of Civic…so the entire inner north, most of Belconnen and all of Gungahlin. Residents in these areas are being advised to stay indoors until further notice. The last update from the fire brigade advised that the fire covers an area 30 x 40 metres. Also, an additional evacuation centre has been set up at Canberra Stadium. Update ends.
Update 6:15am: Canberra Stadium evacuation centre is now closed. People wanting to go there should report to Dickson College instead. Also, some schools may be impacted by this today. The extent of that is being determined as I write this. End update
Update 5:53am: Authorities advise that all roads in to Mitchell are closed. This includes Gungahlin Drive, so expect delays. Delays in ACTION services in northern Canberra are also expected today.
Now, if you haven’t seen the fire, turn on WIN or Sky News. The Today Show has some absolutely stunning footage and Sky News have made use of it as well. Sky appear to have a live feed from a camera looking at the fire as well. End Update
Update 6:05am: Add Ten to that list and probably ABC News24 (although I can’t see ABC News24 where I am so I can’t check). Strangely absent though is Seven who seem to have completely missed the story. End Update
These things always seem to happen when I’m out of town for some reason…
The entire suburb of Mitchell, including some people at Exhibition Park, has been evacuated following a series of explosions at a chemical factory on Dacre Street. The factory, which works with oils used in electricity transformers, has been completely engulfed by fire, creating flames which are visible from a large distance.
The fire is producing a potentially toxic smoke plume, and the fire brigade have issued an emergency alert, advising people in surrounding suburbs to remain indoors.
Fire fighters are currently struggling to contain the fire due to the explosions.
An evacuation centre has been set up at Dickson College.
Hopefully they can get this one under control soon, it sounds like it is quite nasty.