Explosion felt as far as Rockingham as chemical business catches fire in Bibra Lake

Claire SadlerThe West Australian
VideoExplosion felt as far as Rockingham as chemical business catches fire in Bibra Lake

A HAZMAT warning remained in place on Tuesday morning after a major fire and explosion at a chemical business in Perth’s south. The explosion, which made nearby residents’ houses shake on Monday night, was caused by a fire that raged inside the Chemsol Australia warehouse on Cocos Drive, in Bibra Lake, in the City of Cockburn about 7.45pm.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued the HAZMAT warning, with potentially dangerous smoke still blowing in an east-north-easterly direction.

The fire is now contained, but not controlled.

People in an area bounded by Fantail Drive to the east, North Lake Road to the north, South Lake to the west and the railway line to the south in parts of Bibra Lake, South Lake and Yangebup may be affected by smoke.

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Residents were left shaken after feeling the explosion around 9pm on Monday, with people as far away as Rockingham feeling and hearing it in their homes.

Chris Atkinson compared it to a double sonic boom made by a military plane.

Bec Deuna said her “house shook”, and Maxi Taylor said it was like an earthquake tremor.

“I think everyone living south of the river felt that,” Debbie Depiazzi said.

“My whole house shook in Byford, like a 20-minute drive away. Definitely a big one,” Tom Melling said.

A huge warehouse fire in Bibra Lake.
Camera IconA huge warehouse fire in Bibra Lake. Credit: The Bell Tower Times
Smoke from a warehouse fire at Chemsol Australia.
Camera IconSmoke from a warehouse fire at Chemsol Australia. Credit: Jewel Vern

People have been warned to avoid the area and to close their windows and doors as firefighters tackle the blaze.

Firefighters have been using sand and foam in an effort to stop the fire.

Police and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulations’ pollution response unit have also been at the scene.

Cocos Drive has been closed from Cascara Corner to Barberry Way as firefighters work to put out the blaze.

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