• Short Summary

    MOST OF SYDNEY'S TWO MILLION PEOPLE SAW THE MENACING COLUMN OF SMOKE RISING FROM THE NEAR NORTH-WEST OF THE CITY.

  • Description

    MOST OF SYDNEY'S TWO MILLION PEOPLE SAW THE MENACING COLUMN OF SMOKE RISING FROM THE NEAR NORTH-WEST OF THE CITY. THE SMOKE WAS FROM AN OIL FIRE AT THE SHIPPING TERMINAL OF THE VACUUM OIL COMPANY. IT IS THE BIGGEST PETROLEUM STORAGE DEPOT IN NEW SOUTH WALES, AND THE FIRE THREATENED TO BECOME ONE OF THE WORST IN THE HISTORY OF SYDNEY.

    MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF VOLATILE FUEL PRODUCTS WERE THREATENED BY THE FIRE WHICH BEGAN ON THE COMPANY'S WHARF, AND TWO OIL TANKERS AT THE WHARF WERE QUICKLY MOVED DOWNSTREAM.

    THE FIRE WAS BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL, ALTHOUGH AT ITS PEAK IT THREATENED SEVERAL AREAS. THE MAIN CENTRE OF THE OUTBREAK WAS IN A STACK OF 44 GALLON DRUMS OF OIL. AS THE DRUMS CAUGHT FIRE, THEY EXPLODED SENDING UP SHEETS OF FLAME,WHICH COULD AT ANY TIME HAVE IGNITED THE MILLIONS OF FUEL IN NEARBY STORAGE TANKS.

    HUNDREDS OF FIREMEN IN FIRE ENGINES AND FIRE BOATS RUSHED TO THE SCENE. ALL AVAILABLE POLICE AND AMBULANCEMEN WERE RUSHED TO THE SCENE, BUT NO-ONE WAS SERIOUSLY HURT IN THE FIRE - WHICH CAUSED DAMAGE ESTIMATED AT ABOUT 400,000 AUSTRALIAN POUNDS. EIGHT THOUSAND GALLONS OF OIL HAD BEEN DESTROYED.

    THE FIRE APPARENTLY WAS CAUSED BY STATIC ELECTRICITY WHEN A TANKER WAS DISCHARGE AVIATION FUEL. AN EXPLODING DRUM BEGAN THE FIRE.

    WHEN THE FIRE WAS AT ITS HEIGHT, THE NOISE OF EXPLODING OIL DRUMS RATTED THE WINDOWS OF BUILDING, A QUARTER-OF-A-MILE AWAY. FIREMEN POURED FOAM INTO THE OPEN STORAGE TANKS OF HIGH OCTANE FUEL NEAR THE BURNING DRUMS AND BUILDING. THIS WAS TO LESSEN THE DANGER OF A MAJOR EXPLOSION IF ONE OF THE FLAMING DRUMS HAD BEEN HURLED THROUGH THE AIR INTO A STORAGE TANK.

    THE GREAT BLACK CLOUD OF SMOKE HUNG LIKE A MENACING QUESTION MARK OVER THE CITY. PEOPLE GATHERED IN SILENT GROUPS AS THE SMOKE PALL ROSE OVER SYDNEY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAE3A95ES92OAVL8BS9P5J2NWIX
    Media URN:
    VLVAE3A95ES92OAVL8BS9P5J2NWIX
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    29/10/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:49:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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