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Sulphur scare at Country Energy

Hazardous materials personnel get to work at the Country Energy Field Service Station where a forklift punctured bags of sulphur.
Hazardous materials personnel get to work at the Country Energy Field Service Station where a forklift punctured bags of sulphur. Bruce Thomas

FIREFIGHTERS and hazardous materials units converged on Coffs Harbour’s Country Energy depot today to clean up a sulphur spill.

They responded about 1pm after two 24kg bags of common sulphur were accidentally punctured by a forklift.

Coffs Harbour Fire Station senior station officer Mark Rose said no one was evacuated because the spill happened in an isolated area, with no one but the forklift operator around.

“The forklift operator was lightly contaminated but we decontaminated him and cordoned the area off and staff were instructed to stay clear until it was cleaned up,” Mr Rose said.

“Sulphur can be dangerous if inhaled and can burn the eyes, skin and lungs but in this instance there was no need to evacuate anybody.”

Country Energy manager of community relations Rachel Hussell said the hazardous material unit was called as a precautionary measure.

“There was a small amount of white powder found and it is standard procedure to call hazmat,” Ms Hussell said.

“No staff were injured and as it was well-contained there is no concern the spill could enter drainage systems.”

The incident is the second suspicious powder scare in three days.

Hazardous material specialists were called to Woolgoolga High School on Monday after a "yellow powdery substance" was found in the office area.



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