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Man perishes in gliding club inferno

FATAL FIRE: The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services was called to the Bundaberg Gliding Club, where a caravan fire claimed a life. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
FATAL FIRE: The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services was called to the Bundaberg Gliding Club, where a caravan fire claimed a life. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg

MEMBERS of the Bundaberg Gliding Club are in shock following a fatal fire at the club grounds, near the Isis Hwy.

The body of a man was found in the remains of a burnt-out caravan on Saturday morning, which belonged to the 73-year-old caretaker, but the body is yet to be formally identified.

Bundaberg Gliding Club president Grant Davies said it was a sober day at the club and yesterday members were walking around with their heads down.

"It's pretty devastating," he said.

"It's very unexpected, we're all in mourning.

"Everyone's shaken by it and we've had many messages of condolences come in."

Mr Davies said a caretaker had lived on site for about 10 years, mainly for security reasons.

"It's pretty quiet out here but we did have people come by now and then," he said.

"He kept an eye on the aeroplanes and the grounds."

Mr Davies said the blaze had also destroyed the club house, claiming 50 years of the club's historical records and about 30 years of flying logs.

"We're trying to salvage what we can but there's not really anything left - it's pretty much just ash," he said.

Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Sergeant David Tucker said officers from Brisbane's scientific unit had examined the scene and it was not considered suspicious.

A passer-by is believed to have alerted Queensland Fire and Rescue Service shortly after 7.30am on Saturday.

Bundaberg Police Sergeant Mike McLellan told the NewsMail on Saturday that initial reports came in that a shed had caught alight.

"Police attended and found the fire had started in a caravan nearby, which belonged to a caretaker," he said.

"A person was recovered deceased in the burnt-out caravan."

Sgt McLellan said the man's body had not been formally identified, but it was believed to be that of the club's 73-year-old caretaker.

"It's possible (it's him), likely, but not confirmed," he said.

Topics:  bundaberg editors picks fatality gliding isis


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