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Author: Subject: Australians discover fire yet again.
j_sum1
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[*] posted on 4-4-2019 at 17:49
Australians discover fire yet again.


Chemical fire in Melbourne
https://youtu.be/Y23DtVoSRig

I lost count of the number of times the reporter said "toxic smoke" because, you know, "chemicals" and "hazardous waste".

It sounds like the situation is dodgy and involves some non-compliance issues. But I would much prefer to hear actual details than black+smoke+smell+chemicals = toxic+hazard+evil.industry.strikes.again

It looks like the sort of thing that should be left to burn out. And I wonder if a hotter, more oxygenated fire might allow more complete combustion. I guess the fieries have reasons for not pumping O2 into an uncontrolled blaze.


[edit]
Thread title is a reference to this comic, which I always felt was strangely apt.

[Edited on 5-4-2019 by j_sum1]
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[*] posted on 4-4-2019 at 21:06


I'm not sure that fine of detail would be a reporting priority for me, when the fire is still burning and an evacuation is in place? More importantly, it's likely that there is a wide variety of chemicals involved, and that the reporters don't know the specifics. The responders might not even know, depending on how adequate existing disclosure rules are and whether they are being followed. The details might not even come out until after an investigation.

The USCSB did such an investigation at a fire in a hazardous waste storage facility not far from where I live, not too long ago. There's a lot of lessons there, but something that always stuck with me is that the firefighters had very little idea what they were dealing with, other than that it was a witch's brew:

"He said, 'but, I can tell you generally, what's in there. You got large quantities of flammables, combustibles, oxidizers, pesticides, poisons...' The only thing I think left out of the nine classifications was 'Miscellaneous'."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxuPMRTuvbU




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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 4-4-2019 at 21:53


Quote: Originally posted by mayko  
I'm not sure that fine of detail would be a reporting priority for me, when the fire is still burning and an evacuation is in place?


Yeah. I am being a bit unfair. Unfair in two ways: it has to be a hell of a job to arrive on a scene like that and track down good information. Secondly, it is probable that neither the reporter nor the general public has the vocabulary or knowledge to understand or even care about the chemistry details. "Toxic plume, beware!" is good enough for them.

So I am mildly frustrated that the bit that I am interested in is nowhere to be found in the report and is replaced with something that is not dissimilar to the typical chemophobic mantra. It is about ¾ of the way through the report when they mention it is a waste disposal facility and under investigation for dodgy practice. Then you realise that yes, the description is probably apt.

Poor form for the company involved to have exceeded their maximum storage quantities and to have had so much material unlabelled. One wonders what else they have done wrong.
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[*] posted on 4-4-2019 at 22:43


Probably petroleum hydrocarbons of some kind, judging by the black smoke and violent burning. Definitely toxic smoke, what other kind is there?

Amazing footage of that plastic tank at 1:43. It burns through, there was probably flammable vapor and a lot of air inside because it inflates, and then spews burning liquid all over the truck. I'ts like the waitress with the barbecue fuel except 1000x bigger. At least it so far sounds like everyone escaped. You aren't always so lucky when a petroleum storage building burns.

Thanks for sharing.
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[*] posted on 5-4-2019 at 16:31


"Toxic plume, beware!" is also not a bad way to warn off would-be spectators.



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[*] posted on 6-4-2019 at 14:44


The arsehole responsible for the fire is the same one responsible for the last factory fire. He runs a rort like so many other waste disposal companies do by claiming to process your industrial waste for a fee but really just keeps buying more real estate to dump (store) it in. They have a tiny waste processing plant they will always have partially running or down for maintenance just to keep the EPA from ever saying it's true dumping. He lives in a mansion out in Wallan and dumps the burning toxic mess over our suburbs. Thanks! You prick!

Remember why Fiskeville was closed down? They used to offload industrial waste to the fire brigade to burn for training and firies were dying of cancer because of the exposure to this sort of burning mess.
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[*] posted on 6-4-2019 at 15:12


Sounds ugly, Chemetix.
Do you have any cites or links for this information?
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[*] posted on 6-4-2019 at 15:29


Pers. com.

a collegue in my industry who works opposite the site had to be evacuated, industry knowledge shall we say.

but the abc has been reporting the investigation of a series of these stockpiles

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-02/illegal-chemicals-sto...
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[*] posted on 6-4-2019 at 21:58


That's all pretty nasty there Chemetix. If there is a trail of these installations and now two fires, it sounds like some jail time is in order.
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