A truck driver has been rescued after being trapped when his
18-wheeler rolled in the Bay of Plenty early this morning.
The crash occurred on State Highway 2 at Opotiki shortly
before 4am, police said.
The driver was initially trapped, but was later freed with
shoulder and rib injuries.
Three nearby houses had to be evacuated because the truck had
spilled its load of chemicals and liquids across the road,
Four fire crews in splash suits and the hazardous materials
unit from Tauranga were on the scene, Fire Service northern
communications shift manager Jaron Phillips said.
Firefighters were wearing protective clothing and breathing
apparatus when tackling the spilled chemicals.
The Fire Service had a copy of the truck's manifest which
listed all the chemicals and liquids on board, and was
passing that information to the team on the ground, he said.
The quantity of materials on board was unavailable, but the
truck was laden with large pallets of liquids and aerosols at
the time of the crash, Mr Phillips said.
A diversion was in place via Woodlands, Hukutaia, Crooked and
Old Creamery Rds and back onto SH2 via Verral Road.
Motorists were warned to drive with extra care and patience
as these were secondary roads with three narrow bridges.
Heavy vehicles were advised to avoid the area and to expect
"It is thought that it will take most of the morning to clear
the scene, no better estimate can be made until the nature of
the load is confirmed," police said at 5am.