Truck tip causes road closure

A section of State Highway 1 south of Cambridge was closed for several hours on Monday after a truck tipped, causing several volatile chemicals to spill onto the road.

Detours via Taotaoroa Road were put in place as teams worked to clean up the spill, which came from both the truck’s hydraulic fluid as well as chemicals being carried by the truck. Around fifteen 200-litre containers containing corrosive material, and two 1000-litre containers were being carried by the truck at the time of the spill. No other vehicles were involved in the incident, which took place between Kentucky and Maungatautari Roads at about 10.10am.

Waikato fire area commander Roy Breeze seven chemical swere identified on board – a variety of hazardous acids. Six fire crews attended the scene, as well as a Hazmat unit which used a digger and forklift to slowly lift the containers from the truck, being careful to ensure the chemicals didn’t mix.

The chemical containers withstood the crash “quite well” but some had caused minor leaks. Most of the leakage came from the truck’s hydraulic fluid. Sand was placed around the crash scene to soak up the fluids. No acid was believed to have made it into any waterways.

The chemicals did not appear to be an immediate danger to firefighters, who were dressed in level-three protective suits. The truck driver suffered minor injuries.

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