Man serious after hazardous goods truck crash

A seriously injured man trapped in a truck carrying dozens of gas cylinders after a crash this morning has been freed, emergency services say.

Fire, police and ambulance were called to the two-truck crash on State Highway 27, near Matamata shortly after 6am.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter had also been called, and was on standby while emergency services worked to free the seriously injured man.

Fire Service Northern communications shift commander Jaron Phillips said the man was transporting 61 gas cylinders in the back of his truck when the head-on collision occurred close to the Mangawhero bridge.

The gas load was stabilised while emergency crews worked, he said.

The other truck involved had also been winched out of the way to allow access to the cab of the first truck.

The trapped man was now free from the wreckage and would be airlifted to hospital, Mr Phillips said.

A Fire Service hazardous materials team as well as specialist heavy rescue equipment were also called in.

Police asked people to avoid the crash area. Road diversions would be in place shortly.

- Teuila Fuatai of APNZ

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