Hydrochloric spill in the Hutt

21:25, Mar 15 2014

Four fire trucks and 14 firefighters were called out to a hydrochloric acid spill at AsureQuality's laboratory in Waiwhetu today.

Central Fire Service communications shift manager Jan Wills confirmed an AsureQuality staff member dropped a 2.5 litre acid bottle outside a government owned Quadrant Drive food safety and biosecurity services organisation building in Lower Hutt. 

Four staff members were treated by Wellington Free Ambulance at the scene but were not transported to hospital.

Hydrochloric acid is a highly corrosive acid with many industrial uses.

The Fire Service sent a special Hazmat fire truck capable of dealing with hazardous substance problems, along with three other normal tenders, to the scene this morning.

Special breathing apparatus was also taken to the scene for possible treatment of the  staff members involved, Ms Wills said.


The report of the acid spill first came in to the Fire Service at 10:36am this morning and at 1pm the clean up operations were still continuing.

AsureQuality has responsibility for food testing for pathogens, toxins, nutritional information and residues, routine and specialist chemical analyses at its network of nationwide laboratories.

It is run by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry for State Owned Enterprises.

The organisation's Wellington headquarters are located in an industrial area near where the old DSIR buildings used to be located in Lower Hutt, between the Wainuiomata Hill Road and Seaview.