Chemical ‘spill’ sparks large emergency services response

There was a chemical spill at the Merck site in Homefield Road, Haverhill, at about 4.30pm today Pic

There was a chemical spill at the Merck site in Homefield Road, Haverhill, at about 4.30pm today Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

A cordon has been lifted at a Haverhill industrial estate following a large-scale chemical incident.

It happened at the site of pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck in Homefield Road at about 4.30pm today.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service had 10 appliances on site, and police and ambulance crews also attended, after reports of a spill involving 1,500 litres of the liquid acetonitrile, which can cause skin irritation.

A 300-metre police cordon had been in place, but the fire service spokesman said it had now been lifted and there is only one appliance on site.

Anyone living nearby had also been asked to stay inside and keep windows and doors closed, but that advice is no longer in place.


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The spokesman said the chemical had not escaped from the bunded building measuring 13m by 8m.

Merck has been contacted for comment.

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