Water tank ruptures and washes car from Kawana Way

WATCH: Water tank spill at Kawana 'like a tsunami'

WHEN 2.7 million litres of water smashes into your car, it feels like you've been hit by a train.

Currimundi mother Lou O'Brien held her twin children a little tighter last night and counted her blessings that somehow the family survived a horror water tank rupture on Kawana Way at the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital.

She was driving her 11-year-old daughter and son Zali and Alex to swimming squad heading north on the road.

"We hadn't quite got to the second set of lights near the hospital," she said.

Then out of the corner of her eye, Lou saw an explosion.

"Then things kind of slowed down a bit," she said.

"I remember I had seen two guys walking just before it. They were within metres of it. I put the brakes on.

"I thought it was - you know when a building explodes and it's all dust and matter - but it must have been the foam from the water.
"The car just got hit. It was like a train hit us.

"That's when I told the kids to hold on. They were amazing."

The car's two side windows popped then the front windscreen "exploded" as water poured on to Zali.

"I said to the kids 'we've got to get out'," Lou said.

The family escaped from their vehicle, which had been swept into a ditched wooded area only to see a shocked crowd watch them scarper out of the water.

"We'd lost our shoes and my son had lost his glasses but it was so weird watching all these people just looking at us," Lou said.

"I think they were more in shock seeing what had happened than we were."
The shock soon turned into generosity.

One woman gave Lou a phone to call her husband, while another gave the family clothes.

Last night, she was stoic and thankful that her children were safe and well and that there were no more cars involved.

"Two seconds later, it could have been a completely different story," she said.

"It's so great to have this new facility but they have to get all of this sorted. You shouldn't have to worry about this sort of thing."

Kawana Way was closed to traffic last night as engineers examined the scene and inspected a second water tank.

The Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital has less than 400 days until it opens.

Eventually to boast 738 beds once completed in 2021, Lend Lease is responsible for its construction.

YESTERDAY

6:30 PM THIS afternoon's chaotic scenes at Kawana Way could be a defining moment in addressing the roads infrastructure needs for the new hospital says State Member for Buderim Steve Dickson.

Mr Dickson said he was relieved to read that no one had been seriously hurt in this afternoon's incident which saw Kawana Way closed off around the new hospital, but added it only highlighted how badly an improved roads network was needed to properly service the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital.

"Maybe that's a defining moment showing the State Government that they need to fix a problem they know is coming," Mr Dickson said.

"We definitely need a really good road network for that hospital.

"I'm so pleased that no one has been seriously hurt, but what happens if it is a serious matter and people need to get in there (SCPUH)?"

4:00 PM A WATER tank has ruptured and washed a car from Kawana Way at the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital construction site at Birtinya.

The occupants of the vehicle have been checked over by paramedics and determined to have suffered only minor injuries.

Early reports suggest 2.7 million litres of water spilled from the tank after it ruptured. 

A water tank has ruptured and washed a car from Kawana Way at the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital construction site at Birtinya.
A water tank has ruptured and washed a car from Kawana Way at the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital construction site at Birtinya.

Witnesses on scene say the area is in a "proper mess" and said it looked as though a tsunami had swept through the area.

Emergency services are working to determine whether or not anyone has been trapped in the debris from the ruptured tank.

A car was swept off the road after 2.7 million litres of water gushed out of water tank.
A car was swept off the road after 2.7 million litres of water gushed out of water tank.

The structural integrity of a second tank at the site is also of concern and being assessed.

Kawana Way has been blocked and is expected to be closed for some time.

A spokeswoman for construction company Lend Lease said she was aware of the water tank rupture.

"Safety is our number one priority," the spokeswoman said.

"We are currently working closely with emergency services."



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