Chemical spill closes down central Motueka

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A chemical spill has shut down the centre of Motueka.

Senior Sergeant Scott Richardson says there has been a chemical spill on the corner of High St and Tudor St in Motueka.

Some hydrogen cynamide – known as Hi-Cane – has leaked from a barrel on the back of a truck and onto the road.

Often sprayed on kiwifruit vines, the chemical can kill if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin, or can cause severe skin and eye irritation.

Police are advising people to avoid the corner of High St and Tudor St while emergency services clean up the spill. Nearby residents are advised to stay indoors and keep their windows shut.

Fire, police and ambulance services are at the site and contractors have been called in to clear up the spill.

“Because it can be carried through the air we’d ask that people not come and have a look, people should stay inside with their doors and windows shut,” says Senior Sergeant Scott Richardson.

Fire, Police and St John units from across the region are responding to the situation.

A cordon has been put in place to prevent people from accessing the immediate area, the cordon begins at the Motueka Mitre 10 and reaches through to Wallace and High St.