Pipe blowout at Ben Furney flour mills

Poof! All over in 60 seconds

Flour landed in and around the mill after a pipe leak at Ben Furney Flour Mill. Photos Belinda Soole.

Flour landed in and around the mill after a pipe leak at Ben Furney Flour Mill. Photos Belinda Soole.


The flour mill immediately activated their incident procedure and notified the EPA.


For 60 seconds, flour flew from the Ben Furney flour mill and landed on the mill and its surrounds, leaving cars and buildings covered in a fine layer of the white powder on Tuesday afternoon. 

Ben Furney staff quickly attended nearby workplaces and affected areas to brush away the flour, clean windows and wash cars to help resolve the matter. 

Ben Funery Flour Mills spokesperson John Howell said there would be an internal review after the unexpected pipe leak during a flour transfer.

He said the exact amount of expelled flour was difficult to estimate. 

However, he said they thought about “10 bags of flour” equivalent to a “couple hundred kilograms maximum” escaped from the pipe.

“The incident was caused due to a leakage from a pipe during a flour transfer,” Mr Howell said.

“Some fine flour was expelled and was mainly limited to the site and just outside the site boundary.

“The incident lasted for about 60 seconds.”

Mr Howell said staff quickly responded to the incident.

The incident lasted for about 60 seconds. - John Howell

“Ben Furneys incident procedure was activated immediately which saw staff quickly respond to the incident and resolve the matter.

“The EPA was notified as per standard practice of the minor incident.

“All protocols were quickly initiated at the time of the incident to ensure that within two hours the area was tidied up and returned to normal with minimal impact.

Mr Howell said the incident didn’t cause any injury to Ben Furney Flour Mills staff or the public.

He said the company would be undertaking a review and had already implemented changes to address the incident.

Mr Howell said “it was pleasing to see how well” the staff responded and “how well the businesses appreciated the manner in which the matter was handled.”

“Sarah Furney and staff spoke to those members of the public whose vehicles were affected by the flour dust immediately providing car washes for those affected,” Mr Howell said.

“Ben Furney staff also provided some freshly baked scones for morning tea to the nearby work places the next day.

“Being part of the community, the team at Ben Furney were quick to lend a hand cleaning windows and also washing cars on site to assist.”

This article first appeared in the Daily Liberal


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