Workers take cover as youths hurl rocks
QUEENSLAND Rail workers in Rockhampton barricaded themselves in an office as two teenagers pelted them with large rocks yesterday.
The youths then turned their aggression on the workers' vehicles, smashing three windscreens.
One of the workers told The Morning Bulletin that he initially warned the teenagers to stay off rail tracks at the Glenmore rail yard for their own safety.
That's when they turned on him and other workers.
The incident started when the workers caught two teenagers in an out-of-bounds area as they sat down for their smoko break, at 8am.
“We have a responsibility to keep people out of there. But when we told them to leave they started yelling and swearing, and one said for me to come out there and fight him,” the QR employee said.
“He started to throw large rocks at us, but kept missing - and he was just getting angrier and angrier because of it.”
After the teenagers failed to hit anyone, they then climbed over the fence and began to smash the windscreens.
“They then knocked a bike over and started coming into the depot - they just kept picking up rocks and chucking them.
“I thought if they got me with a rock, I would be stuffed because they were massive.”
The workers barricaded themselves into two offices.
“We went into the offices so they couldn't get us, we had to actually hold the door closed while they were chucking rocks at us,” he said.
“I think people should patrol the corridor, they don't give us the right training to do that - all we can say is get out of there.”
Rail Tram and Bus Union representative, Craig Allen, said the incident was a gutless attack.
“These are hard working family people and they don't deserve that when they go to work,” he said.
“These individuals were advised to remove themselves from an unsafe position, but they retaliated to damage their cars and intimidate the workers.
“I hope the law is strong enough to teach these teenagers a good lesson.”
Mr Allen said the government also had a responsibility to ensure the fencing was maintained to an appropriate standard.
A spokesperson for Queensland Rail said safety was the number one priority.
“The site is ringed by a two-metre high barbed wire fence and is regularly patrolled,” she said.
“QR is assisting police to investigate the incident at Glenmore rail yard.”
During the incident the police were called, and the boys were taken into custody.
“At this time two juvenile males are in custody, for damaging three vehicles at Park Avenue,” said Senior Sergeant Mel Adams.
She said the report was still in progress yesterday.