Nutrien Ag Solutions blaze: Conveyor belt sparks massive Kwinana port blaze
More than 50 firefighters are at the scene of an industrial warehouse in Kwinana after a conveyor belt system went up in flames on Friday afternoon.
The blaze, which quickly engulfed a Nutrien Ag Solutions storage facility, triggered a direct brigade alarm about 1.25pm.
Subsequent calls to triple-0 were made and 13 career firetrucks and about 50 firefighters were sent to the scene, just off Port Road near the Kwinana Bulk Jetty.
It also triggered a HAZMAT warning over several Kwinana suburbs, including Medina, Orelia, Parmelia, Bertram, Kwinana Beach, Wellard, Leda, Kwinana Town Centre, as well as East Rockingham about 2.20pm.
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That area was expanded at 3.45pm to include Postans, The Spectacles, Anketell, Oakford, Oldbury, Baldivis, Casuarina and Calista as potentially toxic fumes spread north-east over the southern suburbs.
Four St John WA crews are on-site but none have responded to any reports at this stage.
Nutrien Ag Solutions region manager west Andrew Duperouzel confirmed 11 people on-site at the time were safely evacuated from the site after reports of smoke.
“At this stage we are unsure how the fire started or the ignition point,” the spokeswoman said.
“We will assess the potential damage to our site and any ongoing impact to our operations once we can gain safe access to the site.
“We will continue working with all relevant authorities as the situation unfolds.”
Thick plumes of black smoke billowed into the air as fireys battled to gain control over the ferocious flames.
It is believed the warehouse contains sulphur and the blaze has spread to two sheds.
A range of agricultural granular fertilisers are held at the Nutrien Ag Solutions site.
Exposure to liquid sulphur dioxide from industrial accidents can cause skin irritation, severe burns, loss of vision, headaches and general discomfort, according to the Federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
“Repeated or prolonged exposure to moderate concentrations may cause inflammation of the respiratory tract, wheezing and lung damage,” the department website said.
“It has also proved to be harmful to the reproductive systems of experimental animals and caused developmental changes in their newborn.”
Nutrien Ag Solutions opened its mega fertiliser storage facility at Coogee Chemicals’ Kwinana site just over two years ago.
The 50,000-tonne liquid fertiliser storage facility includes two 25,000-tonne tanks at the Coogee Chemicals’ headquarters on Kwinana Beach Road.
This latest inferno comes just nine months after another major blaze across the road at neighbouring CSBP Fertilisers.
The blaze at its Kwinana Beach Road facility was ignited in a large, empty tank on a shed that was being decommissioned by CSBP, likely during some “hot works”.
It also caused “potentially dangerous smoke” to blow towards the coast but was contained after dozens of firefighters fought the flames for more than an hour.
CSBP workers were on Friday evacuated to a muster point and no site operations were impacted, a CSBP spokesman said.
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