Barangaroo Fire Broke Out In Basement, Possibly From Welding Sparks


The fire that broke out at Sydney’s high profile Barangaroo construction site this afternoon was sparked by welding in the basement of the operation, the union claims.

The fire broke out shortly after lunchtime causing the evacuation of nearby offices including KPMG and the Wentworth Hotel.

The Western Distributor has also been closed.

Almost three hours on the main concern is for the stability of the crane onsite, with emergency crews worried it could collapse.

Super Intendant Ian Krimmer from Fire and Rescue New South Wales said the fire is currently burning two levels below the crane.

“The collapse of the crane is not imminent but we’re preparing for worst case,” he said.

Krimmer said engineers will need to move in to assess the structural integrity of the crane but cannot do so until the fire has been extinguished.

“At this stage we have two strategies, we have to keep that crane cool,” he said.

“We also have firefighters working in the basement area.”

The temperatures below ground are so intense that the 100 firefighters onsite can only work between five to ten minutes at a time before being rotated.

NSW CFMEU State Secretary Brian Parker told Business Insider the fire started in the basement at the site.

Lend Lease confirmed in a statement the blaze started in the basement formwork at the southern end of the site.

All workers have now been accounted for. Earlier there was confusion sparked by union claims that dozens of staff were still missing after the fire broke out.

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