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Chemical spill at Southland Fonterra plant

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/08/2016

Thousands of litres of chemicals have spilled from overflowing tanks at a Fonterra factory in Southland.

Six fire teams were called to the Edendale plant early on Tuesday morning, where staff reported about 5000 litres of nitric acid and a caustic alkali pouring into a catchment area.

Neither of the chemicals on their own were particularly dangerous but crews had to work to make sure the two substances didn't combine and react, a Fire Service spokesman says.

No one was hurt in the event and all the chemicals were contained, he said.

Fonterra was investigating the cause of the issue, but early indications were a machine malfunction had caused multiple tanks to overflow, he said.

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