Approximately 4200 chickens have perished or been euthanased as the result of a truck fire on the
South Eastern freeway this morning.
The incident happened at around 4am between the Hahndorf and Mt Barker exits. The truck had
only been travelling for a short time after loading chickens at a chicken farm outside of Murray
Bridge, and was enroute to Gourmet Poultry’s abattoir at Cavan.
The truck’s driver noticed flames coming from the passenger side of his cabin, and immediately
pulled over. He attempted to extinguish the fire before CFS crews from Bridgewater and Hahndorf
arrived on the scene.
The fire spread quickly through the tiers of cages, killing about 900 chickens. An RSPCA South
Australia inspector assisted with the euthanasia of injured chickens on site.
The remaining chickens all suffered respiratory issues as a consequence of smoke inhalation. They
have been transferred to a different vehicle and taken to the Cavan facility to be euthanased.
RSPCA South Australia inspectors will monitor the euthanasia of all affected birds.
Fire investigators are yet to confirm the cause of the fire, but it is believed to have started as a
result of overheated bearings in one of the truck’s wheels.