Emergency services personnel don chemical splash suits to test a white powder found outside Channel 7.
Emergency services personnel don chemical splash suits to test a white powder found outside Channel 7. Max Fleet BUNPOW

Powder causes havoc in street

A SMALL amount of fire extinguisher powder caused havoc on Quay Street yesterday morning.

The yellow and pinkish powder was found on the doorstep at Channel 7 in Bundaberg about 7.20am and was thought to be suspicious.

About 10 staff were refused entry to the station and the street was shut while emergency crews tested the powder.

After tests were completed, it was found the powder was from a fire extinguisher.

Reporter Laura Dymock said she was not able to access the office for almost two-and-a-half hours.

“It was very frustrating — that's a big chunk of your day when you are in the news business,” she said.

The powder was sprayed along the top step at the entrance to the station's building.

Ms Dymock said the situation became even more frustrating when they realised the act was just a prank.

“Just after the firies left we saw the same type of substance on the street nearby,” she said.

“That's when we really realised that it was someone who thought it would be funny.”

Bundaberg Police Sergeant Steve Bardini said the station manager found the suspicious substance when he went to work.

Police were called to the TV station to investigate the substance.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Bundaberg station officer Vicki Shailer said firefighters were forced to don chemical splash suits to test the substance.

“Police located two fire extinguishers nearby and, after tests, it was determined that the substance was from them,” Sgt Bardini said. “We just have to be 100% certain of that fact before we can call the all-clear.”

The incident was at least the third time in several months that a suspicious substance has shut down a street or business.

In September, the Bundaberg Police Station was locked down after a woman brought in an envelope containing a white powder that had been mailed to her.

And in November, Bargara Police Station and nearby Holland Street were cordoned off after a man brought in a brown crystalline substance from a package that appeared in his yard. Both were found to be harmless.



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