Chemical incident at Whanganui factory
Fri, 02 Nov 2012 5:20p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
A 50-year-old man and one other are in a critical condition and 19 others required medical attention after a chemical incident at a leather factory in Whanganui.
Emergency services were called to the incident on Tod St in Castlecliff, after reports of fume inhalation at the address. The factory involved is the Tasman Tanning factory.
It is understood around 21 people were exposed to dangerous chemicals and two are in a serious, status one condition and have been hospitalised.
3 News understands that one of those seriously injured has been flown to Wellington Hospital.
The fire service’s hazardous materials unit is at the scene and men in orange chemical suits have entered the factory.
The acting publican at a nearby pub, Mike Rennie, says it is a serious sight on the street.
“They’ve got decontamination showers, a response team, police and around five fire trucks and all the workers are standing outside on the lawn.”
Another bystander, Bob Mair, says there are more ambulances at the scene than Whanganui has.
“They must have brought some in from out of town. It doesn’t look too good out here, it’s all taped off and the road is blocked,” he says.
A police spokesperson says one of those affected is a 50-year-old man who had passed out. They couldn’t confirm the exact nature of the incident or what chemicals were involved.
Tanning is the process of treating leather and involves highly dangerous chemicals.
The scene just before 6pm this evening:
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20/11/2012 8:15:20 p.m.
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