FRNSW responds to second toxic canister find

Published: 7th February 2013

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) was called to a home on Sydney’s northern beaches this morning after a resident reported possession of a highly toxic aluminium phosphide canister which was found some time ago on Warriewood beach.

The Warriewood resident called Triple Zero (000) to report the container, which had been stored in a garage, after FRNSW issued a warning that canisters containing this very dangerous poison were being washed up on NSW and Queensland beaches.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said it was alarming the canister had been stored in the man’s garage for some time but the resident had done the right thing in contacting authorities once he became aware of the potential danger.

“I want to reiterate to residents living in NSW’s coastal communities that if they find these silver canisters washed up on the beach, or if they have them stored at home, to immediately call Triple Zero (000) so they can be disposed of properly,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“Aluminium phosphide, which is used as rat poison, can be potentially fatal if it is inhaled or ingested.

“Should anyone come across any more of these canisters, report it to Triple Zero (000) immediately. Do not try to inspect, open or transport it and don’t go near it.”

One of these canisters was discovered on a Batemans Bay beach earlier this week. Similar discoveries have also been made along the Queensland coast.

The canisters are about 21cm high and 10cm wide. FRNSW has also alerted other emergency services, local government authorities and Surf Lifesaving NSW.

Authorities are unsure of the source of these canisters.