Note from Fluoride Action Network:
Molecular structure of highly toxic Sodium fluoroacetate (known as 1080). For more info, albeit outdated, click here
Five people have been injured after inhaling fumes from a serious chemical spill at a transport yard in an industrial Christchurch suburb.
Emergency services were called to the Owens Transport yard in Baigent Way, Middleton, about 12.35pm.
Stuff understands a container of nitric acid was punctured by a forklift truck.
A cordon remained around the site and Fenz expected to be there for the rest of the day.
A spokeswoman said more than 1000 litres of the chemical had been spilled.
A St John spokesman said five people were treated at the scene and none were taken to hospital.
Owens Transport branch manager Nick Max said the yard was evacuated after the spill happened.
He said all staff were safe and healthy, but declined to comment further.
Nitric acid is a highly corrosive mineral acid, commonly used for producing fertiliser and as an explosive.
Inhaling nitric acid fumes can cause immediate lung irritation and pain, as well as shortness of breath, which can last for weeks.
Owens Group is a service and logistics company.
Mainfreight Ltd bought a 79.6 per cent stake in the business in 2003 and consolidated the operations back to the core activity of transport and international freight forwarding.
Mainfreight acquired the remaining shares in July 2005.
The business has several brands, providing door-to-door domestic, international transportation and managed warehousing, as well as handling specialist
In May 2019, a contractor was hospitalised for more than two weeks after being exposed to a poisonous substance while processing chemicals at Pest Control Research (PCR) in Christchurch.
The man was getting chemicals ready to be delivered from PCR’s site in Bromley to the company’s factory in Rolleston when the accident happened.
A colleague rushed him to a medical centre before he was taken to Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries. He made a full recovery and later returned to work.