About 10,000 rounds of live ammunition had to be picked up
off State Highway 6 yesterday after a pallet pitched off the
back of a Buchanan Transport truck heading to Queenstown just
Constable Patrick Greaney said the spill occurred when the
truck was carting a mixed load of goods comprising wood and
steel products, plus a couple of pallets loaded with shotgun
One lane of the highway through the Kawarau Gorge, on the
Queenstown side of the Roaring Meg, was closed for about an
hour as police, volunteers and Buchanan Transport staff
scrambled over the road and down the roadside bank to collect
the scattered cartridges.
A Buchanan Transport spokesman, who wished not to be named,
said the incident seemed to have occurred because the truck
driver ''thought'' the load was secured.
''From what I can gather, the strops he had over it had come
loose and the pallet had come off when he was coming around a
Const Greaney said some of the cartridges had been run over
by cars before being retrieved, but had not ''gone off''.
He estimated the cost of the pallet to be ''probably
thousands of dollars, probably more''.
He said he thought there were about 250 boxes of cartridges,
many of which had split open.
Police, including the Commercial Vehicle Investigation unit,
were investigating and charges were likely, he said.