Road re-opened after chemical spill

A ROAD has been re-opened after a spillage of deadly chemicals from a lorry resulted in it closing it for more than 24 hours.

James Hore

A ROAD has been re-opened after a spillage of deadly chemicals from a lorry resulted in it closing it for more than 24 hours.

Seven people were taken to hospital yesterday after nitric acid leaked from a lorry onto the A120 close to Harwich International Port.

The highly corrosive substance - which causes severe burns when in contact with skin - was spotted spilling from barrels on the back of the vehicle at around 8.30am yesterday.


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Two areas were cordoned off by police - one between Ramsey and Parkeston and the other on East Dock Approach - and the A120 was closed as specialists cleaned up the area.

Essex Police confirmed this morning the Ramsey to Parkeston section had re-opened.

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Work on the East Dock Approach has also now been completed and the road was back in action at 11.30am.

A spokesman said the road had been cleaned and the lorry containing the chemicals has also been removed to a nearby depot.

Yesterday local residents and businesses were told to keep their windows shut and pedestrians were told to keep away from the port due to the possibility of inhaling the noxious fumes.

Ambulance crews worked closely with the other emergency services and received specialist tactical advice from Stuart Berlyn, the ambulance service's emergency and contingency planning manager.

Fire crews wore chemical protection suits to deal with the initial spill and put a sand barrier around the chemical to stop it spreading.

Nitric acid is a powerful oxidising agent and can cause explosions when in contact with some organic materials. It can cause serious damage if its fumes are inhaled.

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