Construction workers were injured and “concrete bullets” fired into a car during an industrial explosion at a CBD worksite on Saturday afternoon.
Emergency services were called to Southbank’s Australia 108 construction site, dubbed the highest residences in the southern hemisphere, after reports of a high pressure explosion shortly before 1pm.
Horrified witnesses said two workers were blown more than 15 metres onto the road, near the corner of City Road and Southbank Boulevard, by the force of the explosion with concrete and aggregate blasted across the the worksite.
One witness said pipes had been pumping concrete from a truck up more than 100 floors into the building when the cleaning mechanism “exploded”.
Metropolitan Fire Brigade Commander Rick Gili said the he’d never seen anything like it.
“That aggregate hit three people that were working on the site – one in the face, one in the back and one on the back of the head,” Mr Gili said.
The debris also struck a passing Honda SUV, smashing windows and injuring one man inside.
He was later taken to hospital with cuts to the face.
“The injuries are quite substantial,” Mr Gili said. “It would have been quite frightening for people.”
One man who was working nearby when the incident occured said he rushed to offer the injured men first aid.
“It’s blown the two blokes across the road,” he said.“They were going into shock.”
Another witness Sam Carapella said he was out for a walk when he heard screaming.
“They were calling for an ambulance,” he said. “It wasn’t looking good.”
MaryKay Rauma, who lives nearby, described the scene as chaos.
“It shot out concrete bullets that shattered the windows on the passenger vehicle,” Ms Rauma said.
“I’m freaked out constantly walking around [the construction sites].
“They’re pumping metric tons of concrete all the way up the building.”
An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said four people were injured in the incident including two constructions workers who were taken to The Alfred hospital in a serious condition, one suffering head injuries.
Two other men- one a worker and the other a passenger in a passing car – were taken to the the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition.
Source: The Age