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EMERGENCY: Qld metal yard burns after petrol tank explodes

An Industrial explosion at Sims Metal in Cairns. PHOTO: Maddy Geraldine
An Industrial explosion at Sims Metal in Cairns. PHOTO: Maddy Geraldine

EMERGENCY services are responding after an explosion which is believed to have occurred at a scrap metal business in Portsmith.

Smoke is pouring from Sims Metal on Comport St following the blast which occurred about noon, The Cairns Post reports.

Police have stated there will be roadblocks in place and motorists and residents are urged to avoid the area.

An Industrial explosion at Sims Metal in Cairns. PHOTO: Maddy Geraldine
An Industrial explosion at Sims Metal in Cairns. PHOTO: Maddy Geraldine

A police spokesman said they have declared an emergency situation due to an industrial fire.

It is believed an unleaded petrol tank exploded at a premises.

The declaration encompasses the area between Ray Jones Drive, Draper Street, Buchan Street and Heatley Street.

Comport Street is completely closed, and drivers are asked to stay away.

Nearby businesses have been evacuated.

A large blast and fire has broken out at Sims Metal in Cairns. PHOTO: Maddy Geraldine
A large blast and fire has broken out at Sims Metal in Cairns. PHOTO: Maddy Geraldine

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said two crews were immediately sent to the site near Draper and Fearnley Sts about 11.55am.

She said there were multiple phone calls to the service about an explosion, and when crews arrived there was a large fire in a metal stockpile at the site.

Division 5 Councillor Richie Bates said the smoke was visible from the Cairns Regional Council chambers.

"I didn't hear the explosion but there's a lot a black smoke," he said.

"There's a strong breeze today so the smoke is blowing around."

Nearby business owner Wayne "Prong" Trimble said the force of the blast shook his store.

"I heard a huge bang and felt a vibration," he said.

Black smoke billowing from a scrap metal workshop is clearly visible from the Cairns Regional Council chambers. Division 5 Councillor Richie Bates took this picture. PICTURE: RICHIE BATES
Black smoke billowing from a scrap metal workshop is clearly visible from the Cairns Regional Council chambers. Division 5 Councillor Richie Bates took this picture. PICTURE: RICHIE BATES

"The smoke is pouring out, black smoke."

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said they were assessing two people at the scene with minor injuries.

He said one was being treated for an ear injury, while the other was being treated for shock.

An exclusion zone put in place by police after an explosion and fire at a Portsmith scrap metal site.
An exclusion zone put in place by police after an explosion and fire at a Portsmith scrap metal site.

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