Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Crews attened an indicent at Rockhampton Airport where lightning had struck the building and caused smoke to the baggage handling section of the terminal on Sunday December 7 2014. About 300 people were evacuated for an hour and a half.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Crews attened an indicent at Rockhampton Airport where lightning had struck the building and caused smoke to the baggage handling section of the terminal on Sunday December 7 2014. About 300 people were evacuated for an hour and a half. Madeline McDonald

300 evacuated from airport terminal after lightning strike

ABOUT 300 people were evacuated from Rockhampton Airport yesterday after a suspected lightning strike.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service crews responded to the call at 4.28pm when smoke appeared in the baggage handling area after a storm passed through the area.

Rockhampton Fire Station officer Barry Thompson said the terminal was evacuated by airport staff before fire crews arrived.

"On our arrival we liaised with the Airport Fire Services commander who had located an area in the baggage handling section of the building that had been affected by an odour and small areas of smoke," he said.

"The building was possibly struck by lightning during the storm and due to that certain areas were affected including wiring, circuit breakers, electrical equipment and the fire indicator panel had a strong odour of something being burnt in that area as well.

"Those 300 people were evacuated for approximately an hour and a half."

According to authorities, alarms at Eventide Nursing Home, Rockhampton Grammar School, Rockhampton Girls Grammar School and CQUniversity had been activated in the proximity of the storm.

Multiple suburbs in Rockhampton also experienced power outages late yesterday afternoon.

Power was restored to about 1000 homes in West Rockhampton at around 4pm after power was lost due to the storm.

There were about 200 customers affected in parts of Berserker and Park Avenue by a significant lightning strike near the Ascot Hotel and in Burnett St, Charles St, Lucas St and parts of Elphinstone St.

Ergon reported there were crews working on an emergency situation in Alton Downs around 5.15pm where power lines were bought down in Wedel Rd affecting Alton Downs and South Yaamba areas.