Johnston St Collingwood was closed to all traffic between Smith St and Wellington St for more than three hours due to a chemical leak at a construction site.
A large unmarked cylinder was accidentally punctured releasing gas and a bubbling liquid substance. MFB crews wearing fully encapsulated hazmat suits entered the site to take readings and samples for later analysis whilst Police doorknocked nearby factories to ensure everyone either stayed inside with windows closed or evacuated to a safe location.
Fifteen workers were evacuated from the site with five being treated at the scene by ambulance paramedics. Two were later transported to the Epworth Hospital for additional treatment and observation.
Community warnings were issued to the media and also posted on the MFB’s website to alert local residents to the incident and advise them of what they should do.
After analysing samples taken by the firefighters, the MFB’s scientific officer was able to conclude the gas was “inert” (non reactive) though its exact identification remained undetermined. As the gas no longer posed a threat to the public, it was allowed to vent to the atmosphere and the incident concluded shortly after 6 pm.
The location was at 35 Johnston St, Collingwood (former Collingwood Tech site) and around 32 firefighters were involved in the operation.
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