Water tank collapse at Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Kawana Way. The scene was described by witnesses as being like a tsunami.  Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Water tank collapse at Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Kawana Way. The scene was described by witnesses as being like a tsunami. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily Che Chapman

Collapsed hospital water tank was three bolts short

THE structural engineer who designed the hospital water tank which collapsed on Kawana Way had never worked with tanks before he was contracted by the structure's builders, a court heard amid revelations it was missing three bolts.

Jason Lindsay and company Lindsay Consulting pleaded not guilty to failure to comply with a health and safety duty that exposes a person to risk of death, serious injury or illness over the 2015 incident which led to 2.7 million litres of water bursting from the tank.

During his hearing in Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday, the court was played several hours of interviews between Mr Lindsay and a Workplace Health and Safety inspector.

Mr Lindsay was interviewed by the inspector for the first time on the afternoon of the incident and told him he was contracted to design the Thermal Energy Storage Tank that collapsed as well as eight other tanks on the site by Australasia Liquid Storage.

The court heard he further told the inspector he wasn't "100 per cent sure" of the purpose of the TEST tank.

ALS went under due to the incident despite the Department of Workplace Health and Safety clearing them of any wrongdoing.

During Mr Lindsay's second interview, he told the inspector when ALS first approached him to design tanks for them he "hadn't done tanks before".

Jason Lindsay's company designed the water tank that collapsed on Kawana Way.
Jason Lindsay's company designed the water tank that collapsed on Kawana Way. Sarah Barnham

After designing two small underground tanks at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital using an American tank code provided to him by ALS, Mr Lindsay said he went on to design eight other tanks at the site.

Throughout the interview several issues with the tank came to light, such as an external pipe that had collapsed and shut off the flow of liquid, which Mr Lindsay said the site's developer, Lend Lease, hadn't alerted him or ALS to.

Mr Lindsay wasn't required to design pipes for the tank.

The court heard that three bolts were also missing at the bottom of the tank which Mr Lindsay said was a "bit of a concern".

"It significantly increases the stress on the other bolts."

Mr Lindsay said two foundation anchors were missing from either side of the tank and he was told Lend Lease workers filled the tank continuously with a fire hose instead of filling it gradually over a period of weeks.

The investigator told Mr Lindsay a report commissioned by Lend Lease found stress on two man-ways in the tank exceeded the allowable limits at the time of the collapse, but Mr Lindsay said he took the information "with a grain of salt".

Mr Lindsay repeatedly said he had nothing to do with the construction of the tank and only worked on its design.



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