A mysterious mushroom attack that has destroyed a village in Westlake has led local authorities to consider the possibility that it may be linked to a nearby mine.
The town of Westlake was hit on Tuesday afternoon when a massive blast took place in a forest near the town’s town centre.
The explosion left a large crater in the ground, but the cause of the blast has yet to be determined.
A nearby mine has been shut down and the town has been evacuated.
The mine, known as a ‘pumpkin’, was built by a former mining company, and is now operated by the Westlake City Council.
Local residents told the ABC that the explosion occurred in the morning hours.
“There were about eight or nine of us, about 20 people, all standing around in the backyard of a house, and there was a huge explosion,” one resident said.
“We all looked out and saw a mushroom cloud come out of the ground and then just went back inside.”
The cause of Monday’s blast is still unknown.
“I think it was probably the mine and the pumpkin.
I think it might have been a pipe bomb or something,” a local resident said on Wednesday.”
It just blew out of control, it was like a mushroom explosion.”
Westlake Village is in the town of Cairns, about 30 kilometres south-west of Brisbane.
“Westlake is a very rural town, it’s about 300 kilometres from Brisbane,” a spokesperson for the Westlakes City Council told ABC Radio Brisbane.
He said the mine has a “history of producing large explosions, but it hasn’t been a major one for a while”.
The town is located in the Cairngorm Hills, an area with a number of underground mines that can produce “hazardous materials”.
“There are several smaller mine explosions occurring in the area and we are currently assessing those,” the spokesperson said.
Police are still trying to piece together the full scope of what caused the blast.
“The only thing we can say at this stage is that it was caused by an explosion,” the WestLakes City council spokesperson said on Tuesday.