News Alerts

6:37am Friday 16 September 2011 – Update 11 – Mitchell factory fire

The ACT Fire Brigade is continuing to conduct atmospheric monitoring throughout Mitchell.

The by-product of the substance being burned, PCB, is a smoke plume that potentially could contain Phosgene.

Phosgene is known to cause irritation to skin and eyes, sore throat, nausea, headaches and dizziness, vomiting, chest pain and difficulty breathing.

The ACT Fire Brigade believe the risk to the community is low but continue to take all precautions.

People within a 10k radius of the fire are still advised to remain indoors with windows closed.

People outside this zone are strongly advised to stay away from the area and the smoke plume.

More information to follow.

5:55am Friday 16 September 2011 – Update ten – Mitchell factory fire

ACT Education and Training Directorate is currently working to determine the impact of the fire on schools on the northside today. Further advice will be provided as soon as possible.

The referral centre at Canberra Stadium has now been closed with all people seeking an evacuation centre should go to Dickson College.

5:28am Friday 16 September 2011 – Update eight – Mitchell factory fire

ACT Fire Brigade is currently carrying out atmospheric monitoring throughout Mitchell with no abnormal readings to date.

People within a 10 kilometre radius of the site are still being asked to remain indoors and keep windows closed.

There have been no casualties as a result of the fire.

The Barton and Federal Highways are open as usual.

All roads into Mitchell remain closed, Gungahlin Drive, Wells Station Road and Flemington Road.

There will be significant disruptions to Acton Bus Services on the northside this morning as a result of the road closures. People can call Canberra Connect for more information.

4:58am Friday 16 September 2011 – Update seven – Mitchell factory fire

Firefighting operations are continuing on scene.

The ACT Fire Brigade is aiming to reassess the current exclusion zone by 6 o’clock this morning in the hope of reducing the area affected.

An evacuation centre is established at Dickson College and a reception area at Canberra Stadium which can be used as an evacuation centre if required. There is approximately 100 people at the Dickson centre and about 50 horses.

The EPA has confirmed nothing no material has escaped the site on the ground and into stormwater drain.

4:10pm Friday 16 September 2011 – Update six – Factory fire in Mitchell

Firefighters are still working to bring the fire under control in the building which measures 30 metres by 40 metres.

Firefighting operations were interrupted earlier this morning because of multiple explosions from inside the premises.

The suburb of Mitchell remains evacuated due to concerns over the possibility of toxins in the smoke from the fire. Police are operating road blocks on all entrances to Mitchell. People should avoid the area until further notice.

Evacuation centres has been established at Canberra Stadium and Dickson College.

An EMERGENCY ALERT telephone advice has been issued for residents within a 10 kilometre radius to remain indoors until further notice.

People are urged not to ring 000 unless for a life threatening emergencies. All telephone inquiries should be made to Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.