HEROES: The 15 first responders to the Angellala Creek Bridge explosion have been awarded for their bravery.
HEROES: The 15 first responders to the Angellala Creek Bridge explosion have been awarded for their bravery. Contributed

Group bravery citation for Charleville bridge explosion

AUSTRALIA'S largest peacetime explosion made heroes of the men and women who happened across a deadly situation when a truck carting 52 tonnes of explosive chemicals crashed off the Mitchell Hwy on September 5, 2014.

Two truck drivers were first on scene of the shocking crash about 9pm that day when a B-double truck crashed off the Angellala Creek Bridge near Charleville.

Amid minor explosions, the duo pulled the injured truck driver to safety and started first aid.

Soon after four Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officers from Charleville arrived on scene minutes before the burning truck exploded.

It was followed by a concussive second explosion which blew apart the bridge and sent debris flying.

The firefighters, two truck drivers and the injured driver suffered significant injuries in the blast wave which hit them despite them being 30m from the overturned truck.

Two Charleville police officers arrived moments after the second explosion and established a 1km exclusion zone around the mangled wreck of a fire truck and the remains of the B-double.

The officers co-ordinated with paramedics who arrived on scene, and a QFES inspector, in an effort to contain the unfolding emergency situation.

The first responders and emergency services personnel were collectively recognised for their actions with a Group Bravery Citation by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

"Despite the hazardous environment and possibility of further explosions, several QPS officers and a member of the QFES made their way to the crash site where they encountered the second member of the public still assisting the injured driver, who was in a critical condition," the awards brief said.

"A QAS paramedic was called to the scene and began initial treatment of the two injured men."


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