A 'chemical incident' which sparked a huge emergency service response in Rochdale involved a container of acid being 'punctured by a forklift truck' it has been confirmed.
Fire crews, paramedics and police all raced to the scene following what was initially only referred to as a 'chemical incident' at a commercial premises on Mellor Street in the Spotland area of the town on Wednesday evening. (10th June 2022)
The road was closed with nearby residents advised to close their doors and windows. The Manchester Evening News has now been told crews were responding to reports of large spillage of acid.
Around 1,000 litres of peracetic acid, which is used as a disinfectant or bleaching agent, had been spilt after reportedly being punctured by a forklift truck Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said.
"At 4.21pm on Wednesday 8 June, four fire engines from Rochdale, Heywood and Bury attended an incident on Mellor Street, Rochdale involving a chemical spillage," a GMFRS spokesperson said.
"Also in attendance were an air unit, a command support unit and a welfare unit. Approximately 1,000 litres of peracetic acid, used as a disinfectant/bleaching agent, had been spilt after reportedly being punctured by a forklift truck.
"Firefighters used two breathing apparatus, one hose reel and two splash suits in making the area safe and spent two and a half hours on site."
In a previous statement, the fire service said the incident "involved a 'chemical leakage from a container onto concrete hardstanding'. Some surrounding properties were evacuated 'as a precaution' they said.
Officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) manned a cordon at either end of Mellor Street during their response on Wednesday evening.
The advice on keeping windows and doors shut was eventually lifted and traffic was initially allowed to flow on the opposite side of the road, before it was fully re-opened.
They added two people were assessed by paramedics at the scene but it is not known if anyone was injured.
This article first appeared in the Manchester Evening News