Melbourne Airport, February 2005

Industrial- Hazardous material incident

Quick Statistics

57 Injured

On February 21 2005, a mystery chemical leak at Melbourne Airport forced the eight-hour closure of South Terminal and resulted in 57 airline staff, security staff and passengers being treated by paramedics for nausea, vomiting, dizziness, dehydration and respiratory problems. Forty seven of the victims required hospital treatment.

Air testing initially was undertaken by airport engineers for breathability, by Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting for flammability and in subsequent hours by Metropolitan Fire Brigade scientists for foreign materials or other agents. None of the testings produced abnormal results and consequently, the cause of the illness was not established.

Information Sources

ABC News, ‘Airport reopens after mysterious gas leak’, 22 February 2005, website viewed 3 August 2011

The Age, ‘Chemical leak causes airport chaos’, 22 February 2005, website viewed 3 August 2011

Emergency Services Commissioner, 'A report of the response to an emergency at Melbourne Airport on 21 February 2005