More than 50 firefighters battle molten glass emergency in Penrith

The emergency in Penrith.
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Firefighters have worked for almost four hours overnight to contain molten glass leaking from a malfunctioning furnace in a factory in Penrith.

15 fire trucks and more than 50 firefighters responded to the site in Andrews Road, Penrith, just before 11pm.

The large quantity of flowing molten glass was threatening to ignite other parts of the factory.

Onsite workers activated their emergency response plan and commenced initial cooling operations.

“On arrival, firefighters, wearing full firefighting protective clothing and breathing apparatus, took over the containment efforts, strategically positioning themselves adjacent to, above and below the furnace to gain the maximum cooling effect, causing the molten glass to solidify,” a Fire and Rescue NSW spokesperson said.

“Thermal image cameras were deployed by the firefighters to monitor the effectiveness of their operation.

“30 workers were initially evacuated as a precaution. Onsite technicians continued to assist FRNSW throughout the operation, providing advice relating to the complex manufacturing process and the site’s inbuilt emergency management systems.”

FRNSW hazardous material experts monitored the air quality and water run-off from the cooling operations.

All water run-off was contained within the site’s retention system.

The FRNSW commander has also provided a briefing to the Environmental Protection Authority.

The site was handed back to the occupants just after 3am.

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