Radio station in hot water with WorkSafe after 'irresponsible' car stunt
WorkSafe have been called in over concerns a radio stunt that saw a car blown up was unsafe and illegal.
Thane Kirby, a DJ on The Rock, organised for his Rock Drive co-host Duncan Heyde's old Honda to be destroyed with 55kg of explosives.
However the managing director of a commercial explosives company has contacted WorkSafe with concerns the explosion was "irresponsible" and did not comply with laws around the handling of explosives.
The explosives were detonated on January 30 at a rural property in north Auckland.
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The car's windows were shot out with guns and smashed with planks before it was filled with explosives and sent sky high.
Peter Shapiro, managing director of explosives manufacturer Red Bull Powder Company, said the explosion was an "irresponsible act" and was not compliant with regulations around the handling of explosives.
Although his company had no involvement with the stunt, he had expressed his concerns to MediaWorks and informed WorkSafe of the incident.
"As a company operating responsibly, when we see an irresponsible act then we tend to follow it up," he said.
A MediaWorks spokesman, which owns The Rock, said the explosion was managed by an explosives "specialist" who assured the station everything was above-board.
"The specialist was in charge of the entire undertaking, including the acquisition of the relevant substances, obtaining relevant legal documentation and all health and safety requirements," the spokesperson said.
"We received assurances all these requirements were in order."
Stuff understands the explosion was managed by James Ashby, a contractor who held a Controlled Substance Licence that allowed him to handle explosives.
Ashby declined comment on the situation.
WorkSafe was unable to comment on whether it was investigating the incident because its records were unavailable during weekends.
This isn't the first time a stunt organised by MediaWorks presenters has drawn the attention of the authorities.
In 2015 police raided the home of Story host Heather du Plessis-Allan after she purchased a rifle illegally for a story on gun control loopholes.
Police issued formal warnings to three TV3/MediaWorks staff including du Plessis-Allan over the stunt.
Kirby and Heyde are relative newcomers to The Rock's afternoon show, and only started hosting it after a talent reshuffle at the beginning of the year.
The car explosion stunt was part of a campaign to draw more likes to the pair's Facebook page. They promised to blow up the car after reaching 5000 likes on the social media site.
Kirby did not respond to requests for comment.
- Sunday Star Times