Fuel tanker explodes in outback Queensland on way to help flood relief effort
The driver of the fuel tanker escaped unharmed when it exploded in western Queensland this morning. (Supplied: Craige Dwyer)
A tanker truck carrying fuel into flood-ravaged north western Queensland has exploded on the Landsborough Highway, west of Barcaldine in the state’s central-west — but the driver survived unscathed.
Police were called just after 5:30am and have cordoned off part of the highway to motorists, which will be closed for several hours.
Inspector Julia Cook said the explosion was possibly the result of a blown-out tyre.
“It is fairly unusual that it would turn into the blaze,” she said.
“Unfortunately that’s what happened today. You just never know what’s going to happen when you have a tyre blow out when you’ve got such a flammable load.
“The best way to clear it is for the firies to wait for it to burn out and then hopefully we’ll be able to clean the scene up.”
Inspector Cook said the driver of the vehicle escaped unharmed.
“The driver is fine, he’s not injured, however the highway will be closed for some time until we can clear the scene,” she said.
“My understanding is he has no injuries but I’d say he’s in police custody at present.”
Inspector Cook said the tanker was carrying fuel to be used for airlifting fodder drops to flood-affected graziers.
“I think it was heading west, possibly for resupply, because there’s a lot of that needed out west following the recent flooding in the north,” she said.
“It’s going to be some time before we can make the scene safe, so my advice is for people driving that way to stop off and have a coffee while we clean up the scene.”