The body of a man has been found in the Waihohonu Stream
during the recovery of a truck and trailer which crashed on
the Desert Road in the central North Island early this
The discovery was made as the cab of the truck which was
partially submerged was lifted from the water using a crane.
The body was located in the water beneath the vehicle and is
believed to be that of the driver.
Police can confirm that the driver is a 50-year-old man from
Porirua but his name is not expected to be released until
Firefighters left the scene of the crash this afternoon, and
it is believed none of the chemicals the truck was carrying
leaked into the waterway.
Environment Waikato has taken over responsibility for
retrieving the hazardous chemicals involved in the crash into
Waihohonu Stream, off State
"We have worked closely with Environment Waikato and it
appears as though none of the chemicals have leaked into the
waterway," Fire Service Assistant Area Commander Nigel
Richards said earlier today.
"Contractors are now working with Environment Waikato and the
police to clean up the site and retrieve the containers that
fell into the Waihohonu Stream."
Emergency services were called to the scene outside Tongariro
National Park about 4.22am after the B-train truck plunged
into the stream.
It was originally feared there were radioactive substances on
board but none were found.
"We've gone through the manifest, and the company as well,
and it's confirmed that [the truck] was carrying no
radioactive substance," Fire Service northern communications
shift manager Jaron Phillips said.
The truck's spilled cargo forced the closure of the Desert Rd
and the nearby Rangipo power station while emergency services
searched for the missing driver.
Mr Phillips said the truck contained aerosol containers and
was also believed to contain an environmentally hazardous
insecticide called alpha-cypermethrin.
Mr Richards said the truck and trailer unit had been carrying
more than 45 tonnes of general cargo as well as three 50kg
containers of swimming pool cleaner and twelve 1200ml
containers of another potentially harmful chemical.
Numerous organisations responded to the incident, including
the local council, police, the Fire Service hazardous
materials unit and the National Radiation Laboratory.
SH1 is expected to re-open later this evening.