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Chemical spill at industrial estate in Liskeard

A chemical spill at an industrial site in Liskeard had to be dealt with last week by a team of firefighters donning gas tight chemical protection suits.

The spill at the Pensilva Industrial Estate meant a 50-metre no-go zone had to be set up on nearby roads.

A split drum containing sodium hydroxide was discovered in the rear of a delivery truck on Friday morning. After reacting with other substances on the truck, the drum and its contents had to be dealt with by the firefighters wearing chemical protection suits and using other spill control equipment.

Richard Gibbons, the Cornwall Fire and rescue Service Incident Commander stated:

"The driver had looked in the vehicle and found the chemicals had spilled and were proving a problem.

"One of the containers had leaked chemicals which had reacted with materials on the bed of the lorry, and started to spill to the ground.

"We responded initially with one fire engine from Liskeard. The incident commander on arrival determined that chemicals were involved and requested further assistance.

"We set up a 50-metre cordon for the protection of the public and evacuated the surrounding commercial premises.

"It turned out the risk wasn't high, but we took every precaution to deal with it. Several crews were involved, co-operating with police and ambulance crews, in case there were any casualties, which thankfully there weren't."

The spill clean-up operation was completed in the early evening, with the cordon removed and businesses being allowed to regain entry to their premises.

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