22 Nov 2016

Explosion at Southland wood processing plant

7:03 pm on 22 November 2016

Staff at a Southland wood processing factory evacuated after an explosion caused several fires.

Fifty firefighters were at the scene, at the Dongwha MDF (medium-density fibreboard) plant, near Gore, Fire Service Southland area commander Bruce Stubbs said.

They were called about 4.30pm, he said.

The explosion was in ducting that fed the main MDF pressing machines.

It was "pretty big", Mr Stubbs said.

"It was enough to blow some pipes and spread a bit of fire around the place," he said.

No-one was injured, and the fires were under control. Crews were looking for any remaining hotspots, he said.

Crews turned out from across the region.