Ten people decontaminated after chemical spill


A mother and her young baby had to be decontaminated after chemicals were spilled on Motueka’s main street today.

A group of ten people were decontaminated by the Nelson Fire Service after the chemical Hydrogen cynamide was spilled off the back of a truck just before lunchtime.

Hydrogen cynamide, more commonly known as Hi-Cane, is 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.

Motueka’s main street has been closed since the incident and station officer Craig Davies says the fire service is still cleaning up the site with an absorbent and lime.

“The road will be open in about an hour [3.30pm] and if any locals are feeling headaches, nausea or skin irritation then they should get to the doctor or hospital as soon as possible.”

He says the ten people that were decontaminated cooperated well and have been given the all clear.

The chemical spilled from a 200 litre drum.