BINGERA Mill has suffered millions of dollars of damage after a fire tore through the building in the early hours of this morning.

It's a huge setback with the crush due to begin in just a few weeks.

"In the early hours of this morning police and emergency services have been called to the Bingera Sugar Mill in relation to a fire that has started this morning," Bundaberg Police Criminal Investigations Branch officer in charge

Detective Senior Sergeant Joe Hildred said.

"Investigations are ongoing with investigators from the fire service and also the police en route and some investigators are also on scene at the moment trying to determine the cause of the fire."

Det Snr Sgt Hildred said no one was believed to have been at the mill when the blaze began.

"One of the conveyor belts that feeds the mill has caught fire but it appears at this early stage the fire has started in the control room which is the main nerve centre of the building.

"Investigations are under way by detectives at Bundaberg CIB in relation to the possibility of any illegal activity at the mill but at this time is appears there's some sort of fault that's occurred.

"The fire is not being treated as suspicious at this time but we are going through the motions to determine the cause of the fire."

Det Snr Sgt Hildred said about 35 people were employed full time at the mill with 20 or so contractors employed during the crush.

"There's a number of persons that may be affected that are employed at the mill," he said.

"The owners of the mill are very keen to get the mill back up and running."

It is unknown at this stage when the mill will be able to operate.

"The damage appears to be in the millions at this time," Det Snr Sgt Hildred said.

"The mill won't be able to operate at this time. It's been shut down.

"It appears a significant amount of work will have to go into the repair of it."

More to come.
 



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