Rare example of panic seems to have taken control over the media in Melbourne after supporters have lit flares during recent derby game. As it turns out, AAMI Park is not perfectly inflammable.
Recently revealed results of city-wide examination show that 51% of 170 major buildings in Melbourne are not compliant with Australian fire safety code. The analysis was carried out after the outer cladding of one block caught fire back in 2014.
One of the fears concerns Melbourne’s AAMI Park as supporters during the Saturday City-Victory derby lit flares inside and outside the stadium. This brought the focus to polyurethane outer cladding of the stadium, which is considered combustible. It’s not the same material that was approved in initial building permit, raising some questions.
ABC News reports the management of AAMI Park declined to answer specific questions about the permit process and any possible risk from flares set off by soccer fans last weekend. Communications manager for Melbourne and Olympics Parks Enna Giampiccolo said the building was compliant with the building code and "safe to occupy".
"We have received independent advice from fire engineers and building surveyors and can confirm the facade material meets the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia," she said.
The panic in Melbourne seems far beyond reasonable boundaries as the flares were nowhere near any combustible materials and they posed no threat of fire. Meanwhile one of Daily Telegraph’s pundits actually appealed for “coming out hard against flare fools”, showing how clueless he is about the issue of pyrotechnics in football. While flares are illegal and not too common in Australia, the game had actual threats to safety, which didn’t earn that much attention, if any at all.