October 1 2014, updated 9:30am

Antarctic 'smurf shed' destroyed

Last updated 23:26 14/05/2008
FLAMES: fire engulfs the old "smurf shed" at Pegasus airfield near Antarctica's McMurdo base.
GONE: the small blue mobile shed was used for storing equipment

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The "smurf shed" at Antarctica's McMurdo station has been destroyed by fire in eerie circumstances.

The fire happened hours after staff met to discuss fire safety at the American Antarctic station.

The last time staff met for a safety meeting they discussed vehicle safety and crashes and hours later a Hagglund ice vehicle rolled over.

The shed went up in flames on Monday at around 10.20am. It was a small blue mobile shed that stored equipment used for maintaining roads on the ice continent.

It was 30 minutes away from the McMurdo base sitting at Pegasus Airfield when it caught fire. Fire crews rushed to put it out but all that was left when they arrived were two fuel tanks burning furiously. Foam eventually brought the burning tanks under control before snow was heaped on to the smouldering tanks.

It was the latest in a string of unfortunate incidents for the American base. Late last year a bad Santa was reprimanded over "inappropriate touching".

Earlier, there was an emergency medical evacuation to Christchurch after a punch-up.

There was also what was believed to be Antarctica's first car chase on Ross Island.

 

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