Angellala Creek significant incident investigation

On Friday 5 September 2014 a road train carrying 52 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was involved in a single vehicle accident on the Mitchell Highway at Angellala Creek, approximately 30km south of Charleville in Queensland, Australia.

The Explosives Inspectorate conducted a thorough investigation into the nature and cause of the explosion, and released an investigation report in the interest of public safety.

Work completed to date

  • On 9 October 2014, the Explosives Inspectorate released an Explosives Safety Alert 86 Ammonium nitrate explodes during transport incident in response to the incident at Angellala Creek.
  • The Explosives Inspectorate proposed a change to the Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) Code for the Hazchem code for ammonium nitrate of UN 1942 from 1Z to 1Y to consider the risk of an explosion. The National Transport Commission (NTC) has implemented this change in the current version 7.4 of ADG Code that was implemented on 1 January 2016, with a 12 month transition period.
  • Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has recommended changes to Standards Australia for Guide 50 in the emergency procedure guide HB 76. The Explosives Inspectorate supports these changes to improve the response to an ammonium nitrate incident.

Work still underway

  • The Explosives Inspectorate is chairing a national working party that reports to the Competent Authorities Panel for the Transport of Dangerous Goods (CAP) to review vehicle design improvements to prevent fires on ammonium nitrate vehicles and initial emergency response improvements.
  • The NTC is reviewing the fire extinguisher requirements for ammonium nitrate loads in the ADG Code to increase the capacity and type on vehicles. This is being considered by the NTC for future updates of the ADG Code.

The aim of the work already completed, and the future work, is to prevent this incident from occurring again in Queensland or around the world. If we do not learn the lessons from Angellala Creek and the other incidents worldwide, it is only a matter of time before another explosion involving ammonium nitrate occurs. It was fortunate that this incident had no fatalities. For those injured by this event, they will have to live with their injuries for the rest of their lives.

Further information

Angellala Creek significant incident - re-enactment video

Transcript for video