Tag Archives: mitchell fire

Horrible Mitchell chemical fire handled well by Government, so sayeth Simon

By 19 December 2013 FEATURED ARTICLE

Simon Corbell has announced a review of the Government responses to the Mitchell PCB fire have come up looking good:
An independent review of the ACT Government’s testing and analysis of a fire, which destroyed a business in Mitchell found that the government response was generally well managed, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon [...]

None of “the stuff that goes boom in the night” as Energy Services Invironmental has another go

By 1 June 2012

The company that shrouded Canberra in toxic smoke, Energy Services Invironmental, is having another go with oil processing in Canberra.
The Canberra Times reports that the Mitchell fire culprits are applying to set up shop in Hume.
But fear not the Environment Protection Authority says the proposed plant is completely safe unlike the last one. In particular [...]

Mitchell fire site demolition gets the go-ahead

By 19 March 2012

WorkSafe ACT are advising that they’ve approved the demolition of the building in Mitchell which so spectacularly caught fire back in September last year.
The Energy Services Invironmental (ESI) Pty Ltd premises at Dacre Street Mitchell will undergo a planned demolition, six months after an uncontrolled chemical fire consumed the building on 16 September 2011. [...]

ESA Headquarters can’t send emergency alerts?

By 11 March 2012

The Liberals’ Brendan Smyth is having some fun with answers to questions he’s had from Simon Corbell:
Information obtained by the Canberra Liberals shows an Emergency Services staff member was woken up to send the critical Mitchell fire emergency message from home because the ESA Headquarters does not have the capacity to distribute emergency alerts.
“For the [...]

Mitchell fire docs roll again

By 21 February 2012

Back in January we were alarmed by the sudden deletion of FOI documents detailing a history of concern about Energy Services Invironmetal and why it was doing dangerous work with seriously dangerous chemicals in the heart of Canberra.
The documents have now been returned to the public.

So much for open government. Mitchell fire docs knifed.

By 26 January 2012 FEATURED ARTICLE

Last week we were all mortified to learn of the unheeded warnings about the nerve gas billowing accident waiting to happen in the middle of the city.
Intriguingly the Freedom of Information documents revealing this horror have now been removed:
NOTE: These documents contain material the release of which has been disputed. In order to ensure compliance [...]

The path of fear leading to the Mitchell fire

By 24 January 2012

The ABC is getting excited about the litany of exposed failures which were not dealt with before the plant full of deadly poison in the middle of Canberra exploded and filled the sky with black smoke.
Documents released under freedom of information (FOI) and dating back several years, reveal WorkCover inspectors and the ACT Fire [...]

ACT arsed up the use of emergency alerts during the Mitchell fire

By 22 November 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

Senator Humphries is letting us know that he’s had the answers back to the Questions On Notice he asked the Attorney-General on why the Emergency Alert system failed during the Mitchell Fire emergency.
In response to questions on notice asked by Senator Humphries, the Attorney-General has put it in terms clear as day:
The Emergency Alert technology [...]

Professor Jochen Mueller to review the Mitchell Fire testing

By 11 October 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

Simon Corbell has announced the appointment of Professor Jochen Mueller to “lead an expert review of the testing for environmental contaminants, undertaken by Government agencies, following the Mitchell fire.”
“I announced late last week that the Government would be appointing an independent expert to review the Government’s testing regime following the incident at Mitchell. I am [...]

Energy Services Invironmental wins the Mully Cup for September 2011

By 4 October 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

Drum roll please…
And the Mully Cup for September 2011 goes to Energy Services Invironmental!
Thanks to their stupendous chemical fire at Mitchell there have been hundreds of comments over a great many stories.
As an added bonus, depending on just how cleanly the fire burned, many north Canberra residents may have now been freed from having to [...]

Air testing to be reviewed post Mitchell Fire, but why was the poison here?

By 1 October 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

Simon Corbell has announced continuing fallout from the Mitchell Fire, this time a review of testing procedures:
Mr Corbell said the independent expert, who would have experience in toxicology with a focus on environmental containments including PCBs and dioxins, would review the government’s chemical contamination testing results and provide advice to the government on long-term monitoring [...]

The miserable failings of emergency alert – UPDATED

By 30 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

Simon Corbell has announced the release of a review into all the ways the emergency alert system went wrong during the Mitchell Fire.
What strikes me as particularly clear is that anyone with a basic knowledge of primary school maths and the wit to apply it could have predicted these limitations and yet it was never [...]

Queensland boffins say ACT dioxin testing is rubbish

By 28 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

The Canberra Times is letting the other show drop on the “testing” by the ACT Environment Protection Authority which has so far found nothing at all from a huge open air burnoff of PCBs in the middle of Canberra.
The director of Queensland pollution testing facility Airlabs, chemical engineer Chris Clunies-Ross, said there were standard air [...]

Air test results destroyed? Liberals ask why

By 26 September 2011

Liberal Leader Zed Seselja is arcing up over the Mitchell Fire and asking why the results of air tests have been disappeared:
Today’s revelations that the Mitchell fire air results were not retained come on top of continued failings by ACT Labor in the aftermath of the emergency, ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja said today. The [...]

All clear given to health effects of the Mitchell Fire

By 23 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate has released the results of their testing following the Mitchell Fire and announced that 420,000 litres of PCB containing oil have burned off, despite the best efforts of the Fire Brigade to pour water onto them as they burned, without any ill effects whatsover.
If the testing is accurate [...]

Why are we waiting for Mitchell fire results?

By 23 September 2011

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury has been rattling Simon Corbell’s cage on why a week later we’re yet to find out what we were breathing on Friday in the wake of the massive chemical fire in Mitchell (bearing in mind the plant was storing one of the worst pollutants known to man and the smoke pictures [...]

Mitchell residues corroding metal but no health risk!

By 23 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

Simon Corbell is trying to reassure us about the aftermath of the Mitchell fire.
Tests results received yesterday by the EPA show some residue in the immediate vicinity of the fire site contains sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate. This poses no risk to human health but may cause pocking of soft metals such as aluminium.
“Where [...]

Simon explains what was going on at Mitchell

By 22 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

Simon Corbell’s office have sent through his ministerial statement from Monday on the Mitchell fire which has some detail, not much of it reassuring, about what we were all breathing on Friday as the PCB processing plant in the middle of the city blazed away.
You really need to read the whole thing. Here it is:
I [...]

Lake Burley Griffin re-opened

By 19 September 2011

The National Capital Authority have announced the re-opening of Lake Burley Griffin after Friday’s chemical fire in Mitchell.
The Environment Protection Authority has advised that water quality results indicate the lake is safe for use.

Greens arc up about health and environmental effects of the Mitchell fire

By 19 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury is asking some much needed questions about what exactly was spewed into the air on Friday during the Mitchell fire.
“The chemicals involved in this fire were polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, one of the chemicals banned under the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants. The burning of such chemicals can result [...]

Mitchell opens up and WorkSafe gears up

By 18 September 2011

The ESA has announced they’re re-opening parts of Mitchell:
Thanks to the swift actions of the ESA and EPA who have conducted comprehensive sampling and testing we are now able to confirm that the test results have conclusively shown no contaminants or toxins from the fire within the Mitchell exclusion zone.
This means the exclusion zone in [...]

Horses over Children? Bimberi not evacuated.

By 18 September 2011

Much was made during the Mitchell fire emergency of the efforts made to evacuate horses from EPIC.
The ABC’s Jo Laverty did a lengthy piece on the efforts being made to cater for dogs and cats.
We were therefore surprised to hear gossip that the Bimberi Youth Detention centre had not been evacuated.
So surprised we asked Joy [...]

Victory declared over the Mitchell fire

By 17 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

ACT Fire Brigade has advised a wall on an adjoining building has collapsed.
The collapse has not resulted in additional smoke being released.
Fire-fighters are continuing to contain the blaze.
7:00pm Friday 16 September 2011

The ACT Fire Brigade has now extinguished the fire about 22 hours after it started.
Firefighters will remain on scene overnight to ensure there are [...]

Mitchell off limits all weekend

By 16 September 2011

The ACT Fire Brigade has advised that the exclusion zone in Mitchell will remain in place for the weekend.
Assessments will be ongoing and information will be released as fire-fighting efforts continue. People need to exercise caution in areas directly surrounding the exclusion zone in Mitchell. Fire-fighting activities are continuing at the site and there is [...]

Is it safe to go outside?

By 16 September 2011

The ACT Fire Brigade have received a number of enquires via telephone and social media asking whether it is safe to go outdoors.
Due to changes in wind direction and as a precautionary measure the ACT Fire Brigade advises residents located in Campbell, Braddon, Downer, Dickson and Watson to try and remain indoors and people to [...]

Lake Burley Griffin closed by the Mitchell fire

By 16 September 2011

The NCA has warned that they’ve closed Lake Burley Griffin due to the fire in Mitchell and the fear of toxic pollution.
They’ve then gone on to warn that the lake remains closed.
Lake Burley Griffin will remain closed to all sporting and recreational uses until further notice, following a factory fire in Mitchell overnight.
The NCA was [...]

Mitchell fire still blazing and exploding

By 16 September 2011

ACT Fire Brigade are continuing firefighting operations and attacking the fire with large quantities of foam. ACT Fire Brigade advise explosions may continue through firefighting operations until the fire is extinguished.
Some residue including oil and firefighting material from the site has been identified in the Flemington Road ponds. This area has been isolated and the [...]

Health impact of the smoke plume

By 16 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

As we come to terms with the ongoing chemical fire in Mitchell the ESA has given a warning of the possible effects of exposure to the stuff which was clearly visible from Civic this lunchtime (emphasis mine):
Canberra Connect has received 2250 calls from the public about the Mitchell fire.
There has been no-one present to hospital [...]

Assistance offered for Mitchell businesses

By 16 September 2011

If you have been affected by the recent events in Mitchell and your business operations have been interupted, Regus can help with a range of temporary facilities to ensure business continuity remains unaffected.
Please feel free to contact Ian Smith, General Manager of Regus Canberra on (02) 6169 4000.

ACTION disruptions in the wake of the Mitchell fire

By 16 September 2011

ACTION are warning of the services they’re unwilling to provide as potentially toxic smoke envelopes the Inner North.
ACTION bus services running in North Canberra have now recommenced. Services will be diverted away from Mitchell. School services in North Canberra will not operate this morning. It is expected that all school services will run as per [...]

Mitchell fire. Your pictures and video

By 16 September 2011 FEATURED ARTICLE

For all of the ESA reporting and safety warnings please read our earlier report
[Lead photo by ThisIsAName]

The first photo was sent in by Gungahlin Al at 2.20am.

Mamunul sent this in of the explosions at 2.48am.

Overlord has noted at 3.35am that the SMS warning left a bit to be desired:
This kind of basic spelling mistake is [...]

Mitchell factory fire. ESA Reports of the major emergency.

By 15 September 2011

The ACT Fire Brigade is responding to reports of a large factory fire in Dacre Street at Mitchell.
11:52pm Thursday 15 September 2011

A 300 metre exclusion zone has now been put in place.
Three fire pumpers, bronto, hazmat, BA unit and command crews are all on scene.
The ACT Fire Brigade is working with the business operator [...]

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