News

Ute set alight

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

The actions of a small handful of Deni Ute Muster ticket holders has been condemned, after a car was set alight at the famed festival site on Saturday morning.

Video of the incident which has emerged on Facebook clearly shows a Musterer pour a flammable liquid from a jerry can under the rolled-over ute and out on to the adjacent dirt road, before it was ignited.

The jerry can was then tossed underneath the ute, causing the flames to increase in intensity.

Billowing smoke could be seen from all corners of the festival site.Murray River Police District Detective Inspector Jy Brown said all people involved, who came from Sunbury in Melbourne, were evicted from the Muster site.

‘‘They were all spoken to at the Muster command centre, their wrist bands removed and asked to leave the site and Deniliquin,’’ Det Insp Brown said.

‘‘The matter is now under further investigation.

‘‘That kind of behaviour is not acceptable.

‘‘This was thankfully one of only a small number of incidences that were disappointing from a police perspective.’’

Deniliquin NSW Fire & Rescue Captain Martin Smith confirmed the ute had a dual fuel source, with an LPG tank also affixed.

So dangerous was the fire, firefighters were forced to wear their breathing apparatus equipment to bring it under control.

Capt Smith said the risk of an explosion or serious grassfire resulting in multiple injuries, or worse, was great.

He said the number of passive bystanders nearby increased that risk.

‘‘The danger of the situation was that a vehicle powered by LPG could explode at any moment sending fragments of metal towards bystanders, causing substantial injuries,’’ he said.

‘‘There was also enough fuel on the ground to have started a grassfire. Depending on the wind and other factors, it could have caused a large fire, putting a lot of people at risk.

‘‘Firefighters were able to cool down the tank to avoid an explosion but it was a highly dangerous situation for both them and bystanders.’’