Hydrochloric spill in Lower Hutt

03:51, Mar 15 2014

A specialist fire crew has been working to clean up a hydrochloric acid spill at a Lower Hutt laboratory.

An AsureQuality staff member dropped a 2.5 litre acid bottle outside the building in Waiwhetu, a Central Fire Service communications shift manager Jan Wills said. 

Four staff members were treated by Wellington Free Ambulance at the scene but were not taken 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 of the standard trucks, to the scene this morning.

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

The report of the acid spill first came in to the Fire Service at 10.36am and the clean up was still underway at 1pm.

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.