Specialist Council Skills Called upon
Specialist environmental health staff from Ruapehu District Council (RDC) assisted with the response to an articulated
truck accident early last Wednesday morning just outside Waiouru on SH1.
The 1.30am crash involving a Mainfreight truck and trailer unit carrying a mixed cargo of timber and packaged foods
along with potentially hazardous fertilizer, paint, solvents and thinners saw SH1 closed and traffic diverted via
Ohakune until Thursday afternoon.
RDC Senior Environmental Health Officer, Mohammed Ishrar, was called to the crash site to provide specialist assistance
with the management of the hazardous cargo including advice on the containment, clean-up and disposal of the dangerous
“In any accident or event of this type where hazardous goods are involved there are strict response protocols that must
be followed to ensure the safety of the responders and protect the environment,” he said.
“Due to the location of the accident RDC possessed the closest qualified personnel able to respond.”
“Fortunately in this case there were no serious injuries or major health incidents arising from this incident.”
Mr Ishrar noted that it was not normally part of his day to day duties to attend to hazardous material traffic accidents
such as this one.
“However, with RDC having responsibility for civil defence and rural fire in the District we work closely with the
Police, Fire Service and other agencies as required in any emergency that arises.”