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Explosions, Smoke No Cause For Alarm

NEWS RELEASE from Hutt City Council

7 November 2001

EXPLOSIONS, SMOKE NO CAUSE FOR ALARM

An accident between a 35,000 litre tanker carrying liquid and solid chemicals and a private motorcar on Taranaki Street wharf tomorrow morning at 9.15am will cause a number of injuries and a massive 'chemical' spill.

Residents and workers in the vicinity need have no fear though, the whole incident is being staged deliberately to test the ability of Emergency Services to react to a heavy vehicle incident with multiple injuries and the spillage of hazardous substances.

Hutt City Hazardous Substances officer Mike Haley has been working on the project for the past two months.

"Hutt City places very high importance on the readiness and ability of services to react to any number of potential disasters. We need to be prepared for anything and know that all services can react quickly and efficiently," said Mr Haley.

Members of the public can watch the disaster unfold, but crowd control measures will be in place.

The exercise will run for 90 minutes with a panel of scrutineers reporting to the Annual Hazardous Substances Management Conference, being held at the Te Papa Museum from 7-9 November.

Exercise details: The exercise will involve an accident between the tanker and a private car. The driver of the car will be injured and unconscious. Twenty five school children, on a school field trip will also be seriously injured. Three 'victims' will be transported to the Burns Unit, three other will require treatment at the De-contamination Centre and the other 19 will be transported to the Mass Casualty Unit at Wellington Hospital.

A one tonne liquid chlorine cylinder being transported on the trailer unit will suffer damage to the outer skin and the cylinder explodes. Three pallets of mixed flammable gas and pressurised cylinders are also on the trailer, along with three pallets of corrosive material. There is plenty of smoke from chemical reactions and fire and explosions are likely to occur.

The incident will involve the following services: NZ Fire Service NZ Police Ambulance Services Wellington Hospital Red Cross Victim Support

The following organisations are supporting the incident: NZ Army BP Oil Fulton Hogan Mobil Oil Port of Wellington Hutt City Council Wellington City Council Wellington Regional Council J.D. Lyons Peter Baker Transport Air Liquide NZ Ltd Life Flight Trust

ENDS For further information please contact: Mike Haley Hazardous Substances Officer Hutt City Council DDI: 04-570 6942 Mob: 025 430 252

or

Kirk MacGibbon Communications Manager DDI: 570 6940 Mob: 0274 489 386

Website: http://www.huttcity.govt.nz

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