Chemical spill chaos

A CHEMICAL spill on the Pacific Highway caused traffic chaos across the southern Gold Coast earlier today.

The crossosive-liquid spill cut the southbound lanes of the highway near the Gold Coast Airport overpass for about 10 hours earlier.

Traffic was dirverted through to the Gold Coast Highway and down to Kennedy Drive.

The NSW’s Road & Transport Authority said there was heavy congestion on the roads around the spill site, but there were no reports of road rage incidences or traffic infrinfements in the area.

The Pacific Highway was closed from 5.45am to around 3.30pm after a truck carrying corrosive acid swerved to miss a traffic acident and displaced it’s load.

NSW Fire & Rescue duty commander Inspector Chris Bishop said two protective cages had ruptured and spilled in the trailer.

“This was not a difficult task but it is painstaking,” Mr Bishop said.

“This spill was contained on the back of the trailer which made it easier.

“But the whole day of a clean up involves taking one step at a time and then evaluating the situation before taking another step.

“For example, initially we thought we were dealing with the one spill, but then we realised that two containers had ruptured.”

The two 1000-litre contains that ruptured were holding nitric acid and sodium hydroxide.

Insp Bishop said there were many things to consider in this situation and re-opening the road was one of them.

“Obviously opening the road to traffic is on our mind, but the priority is to ensure it’s safe,” he said.

“We don’t want it to start fuming again with traffic about.

“You just don’t know how long its going to take to clean up.

“We have containers coming down from Brisbane to help with the transfer of the remaining liquid.

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