Supplied by QPS

Police have not ruled out Mt Isa blast a murder suicide

UPDATE: MOUNT Isa Police and specialist officers from Townsville and Brisbane are still at the scene of a devastating caravan explosion in which three people died yesterday.

Forensic, Scientific and Disaster Victim Identification officers continue to methodically process the scene, which incorporates an area of several hundred metres.

Mount Isa District Detective Inspector Kelly Harvey said police were working around the clock to try and positively identify the victims and determine the cause of the explosion.

Detective Inspector Harvey said that while police were unable to confirm the identity of the deceased at this stage, 39-year-old Charlie Hinder and his two children, seven-year-old daughter Nyobi and her brother, four-year-old River, were believed to have been inside the caravan at the time.

"We are still in the early stages of the investigation and although significant work has already been undertaken, there is still a lot of work needed to be done by our specialist police," Detective Inspector Harvey said.

"A detailed examination and analysis of a scene involving an explosion takes time, and it may be some time before we have a clearer understanding of why the explosion occurred."

Detective Inspector Harvey said police were still looking into the possibility that it was a gas explosion.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor, Northern Region, praised the efforts of police, emergency services and the local community for their efforts in response to this tragedy.

"This is a shocking scene that has not only devastated a family but upset and saddened police and emergency service personnel, as well as the people of Mount Isa."

"I'd like to personally thank everyone involved in this investigation, as well as the local community, especially those residents displaced while police examine the scene, for their understanding, compassion and assistance," he said.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.

The deadly Mt Isa caravan explosion claimed the lives of three people. Source: Queensland Police Service
The deadly Mt Isa caravan explosion claimed the lives of three people. Source: Queensland Police Service

EARLIER: POLICE say they are keeping an 'open mind' on the deadly explosion which killed a father and his two children in Mt Isa on Tuesday.

The ABC reported that debris from the explosion has been found more than 50 metres from the Deighton Street caravan.

Counselling has been offered in the north-west Queensland mining community following the deaths of  Charlie Hinder, 39, and his children - a boy, 4, and a girl, 7.

The three were in a caravan when gas bottles exploded early Tuesday morning.

A nearby home was also damaged in the blast.

Homicide detectives from Brisbane will join local police to work with scientific officers from Townsvsille.

Detective Inspector Kelly Harvey said it could take days to collect evidence from the scene, the ABC reported.

"There are lots of caravan pieces that have gone, as I said, within a huge radius of that area," she said.

"My first estimates were about 50 metres from the caravan site yesterday, but when we actually started doing a through investigation, there were bits and pieces of that caravan that were actually further away."

There have been various media reports that police are investigating a possible murder-suicide scenario.

Superintendent Russell Miller said they were not ruling out anything at this stage.

"We've got a very open mind on it. As I say, because of the nature of the scene it's very difficult and we're certainly not going to speculate," he said.

"I've seen a number of various media reports and unfortunately there are some errors in those media reports. I'm not sure where they get their information from but it's a bit unfortunate."


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