Man taken to Oamaru Hospital after touching chemical mix

A man was taken to Oamaru Hospital on Saturday afternoon after coming into contact with a drum of chemicals.
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A man was taken to Oamaru Hospital on Saturday afternoon after coming into contact with a drum of chemicals.

A man was taken to Oamaru Hospital with hand injuries after he touched drum which contained a mixture of chemicals, at a meat processing plant, on Saturday. 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand senior communicator Mau Barbara said the man was taken to hospital before emergency service crews arrived at Oamaru Meats Limited, on Redcastle Rd, Oamaru, just after 2pm.

Barbara said the man had sustained injuries to his hand after he put his hand against a 200 litre drum which contained a "couple of chemicals" which, when mixed, had created a chemical reaction causing a gas to be released. 

It was not known what the two chemicals in the drum were, he said. 

The chemicals had not spilled from the drum, he said.

Hospital staff had been recommended, as a precaution, to check the man for chlorine gas inhalation and any one who came into contact with him be "decontaminated," he said. 

Seven crews from Oamaru, Timaru, Weston and Washdyke were sent to dilute the chemicals and were at the scene for more than four hours, Barbara said. 

Crew members wore splash suits and breathing apparatus to dilute the drum which was emptied, diluted with "copious amounts of water", and drained out into the sea, he said. 

A decontamination unit had been set up on site for crew members to shower in after diluting the substances, he said.  

A Police media spokeswoman said Police had been notified of the incident, but were not in attendance. 

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St John spokesman Gerard Campbell said St John also had not attended the incident. 

 - Stuff

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