13 February 2024

Man suffers burns in chemical fire at Port Kembla Steelworks

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Fire and Rescue truck

About 40 NSW Fire and Rescue firefighters attend a chemical blaze at Port Kembla Steelworks. Photo: Katrina Condie.

A contractor working at Port Kembla Steelworks suffered burns when an acetylene gas cylinder caught fire earlier today (13 February).

The man suffered superficial burns to his knuckles as well as grazes. He was treated onsite at the medical centre before being taken to Wollongong Hospital for further treatment.

Two cylinders containing the highly flammable gas caught alight at the Springhill Road facility just after 10:30 am.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters remain on the scene to monitor the situation and keep nearby cylinders cool so no others ignite.

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The blaze will continue to burn until the gas supply is consumed by fire.

FRNSW said about 50 workers near the area had been evacuated as a precaution.

More than 40 firefighters and 11 fire trucks were sent to the incident, including specialist hazardous materials (HAZMAT) crews, which are working with on-site experts.

Fire crews have been working to protect a nearby building by applying water to the impacted cylinders and keeping surrounding areas cool.

Coles at Helensburgh.

Part of the roof of Coles at Helensburgh threatened to collapse after heavy rain. Photo: FRNSW Helensburgh.

Earlier, firefighters were called to Coles Helensburgh where a section of the roof was starting to collapse due to heavy rainfall.

According to FRNSW Helensburgh, crews arrived at the building about 5:25 am.

Firefighters inspected the roof, evacuated staff, taped off the area for safety, covered the cash registers with salvage sheets and called in FRNSW Heavy Technical Rescue to assist.

The store was closed for part of the day until it was safe to reopen to the public.

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