Gladstone, South Australia, May 2006

Industrial - Gladstone factory explosion

Quick Statistics

3 Fatalities
2 Injured

On 9 May 2006, an explosion at a munitions factory in Gladstone, South Australia killed three workers and injured two others.

The blast, which destroyed the factory and leveled almost everything within a 100 m radius of the factory, was heard up to 70 km away. Emergency services were kept at a distance until bomb experts from Adelaide gave the all-clear to enter the immediate vicinity of the factory.

In June 2010 a decision of Industrial Magistrate Ardlie found that the explosives company failed in its obligation to ensure the safety of its employees and failed to provide and maintain the plant in a safe condition. A second defendant, the responsible officer in charge of a body corporate, was found to have failed to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance by the first defendant with its obligations under section 19(1) of the Occupational Health Safety and Welfare Act 1986.

An appeal was heard in 2011 and a judgment was delivered in 2012, in which the fines ordered as a result of the decision at the original trial were reduced.

Information Sources

ABC News, ‘Explosive firm wants reduced penalty’, 21 December 2011, website viewed 16 February 2012
Adelaide Now, ‘Poor maintenance caused deadly Gladstone blast court told’, 23 November 2009, website viewed 16 February 2012
Government of South Australia 2006, Department of Administrative and Information Services, Gladstone investigation - primary work complete, news release, SafeWork SA, 28 June, website viewed 16 February 2012
Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Two killed in explosives factory blast’, 9 May 2006, website viewed 16 February 2012
Court case (original): Markos v Quin Investments Pty Ltd & Another [2010] SAIRC 30, Judgment of: Industrial Magistrate M Ardlie, Delivered on: 24 June 2010, website viewed 21 October 2014
Court case (appeal): Quin Investments Pty Ltd and Anor v Markos [2012] SAIRC 11, Delivered on: 20 March 2012, website viewed 21 October 2014