South-bound traffic stopped at Archer on the Bruce Highway after an explosives scare at Bajool, near Rockhampton.
South-bound traffic stopped at Archer on the Bruce Highway after an explosives scare at Bajool, near Rockhampton. Allan Reinikka

Explosives factory leak closes highway, town

THE Bruce Highway near Rockhampton has been reopened following an explosives scare late this afternoon.

Authorities were alerted around 2pm of a leak of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate at the Bajool Explosives Reserve, 35km south of Rockhampton.

A spokesman for the Department of Community Safety said a 22,000 litre tank of the chemical had overheated and ammonium nitrate had escaped into the atmosphere.

Mainly used an agricultural fertiliser, ammonium nitrate is used in explosives manufacture and is favoured by terrorist bomb makers.

An emergency broadcast had warned residents of Bajool to stay indoors as the leak was investigated.

A 5km exclusion zone around the explosives factory had been declared.

Three fire crews are in attendance and ambulances are on standby, the spokesman said.

At 5.15pm both north and south-bound traffic was reopened.


Have you been blocked at the highway? If you have photos from the area SMS them to 0402 361 217 or email them to The Morning Bulletin.


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