Fire and Emergency/Supplied
A specialist hazardous materials unit, eight fire trucks and a tanker were at the scene of the Transmission Gully crash, along with a command unit.
A fuel spill on Transmission Gully after a crash between a fuel tanker and another vehicle remains at “risk of explosion” and another tanker has been brought in to remove the remaining fuel.
Wellington motorists can expect delays after the early morning crash on Tuesday which closed Transmission Gully State Highway 1 between Pāutahanui and Paekākāriki.
A Fire and Emergency spokesperson said crews were notified at 5.40am of the significant spill after the crash near the Paremata Haywards Road on-ramp.
Fire and Emergency group manager Gareth Hughes said a second fuel tanker was on the scene and decant the remaining fuel at 11am. This was expected to take at least a few hours.
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“Until that is complete, there is still a risk of an explosion so the road is remaining closed,” Hughes said.
The fuel leak, which had since been contained, spilled approximately 1000 litres of 95 octane fuel on the highway, he said.
A specialist hazardous materials unit, seven fire appliances and a tanker remained at the scene, along with a command unit, the spokesperson said.
A police spokesperson said there were no reports of injuries, but confirmed fuel was leaking from the tanker.
The northbound and southbound lanes of the motorway were closed and police advised motorists to avoid the area.
Fire crews had isolated the fuel leaking from the tanker by setting up a dam, a spokesperson said.
Hughes said it was not yet known how much fuel had been lost from the tanker and volunteer and career firefighters “have worked hard to prevent it from reaching an environmentally sensitive area”.
An environmental protection officer was on their way to the scene.
Waka Kotahi said the stretch of SH1 between Pāutahanui and Paekākāriki was closed due to the crash approximately 3km south of the Paekākāriki offramp.
The transport agency said motorists should expect delays and avoid the area.
“Work to clear the crash scene is continuing, and the road is expected to remain closed for several hours and not reopen until later this afternoon,” a Waka Kotahi spokesperson said.
Transmission Gully was first talked about in 1919. Nearly 100 years later, plans were in place to build the motorway, and as of March 31, it’s actually open.
Motorists heading northbound were urged to take the State Highway 58 from Pāutahanui onto State Highway 59, then SH1 after Paekākāriki.
Meanwhile, southbound travellers should use SH59 from Paekākāriki onto State Highway 1 at Porirua.
Traffic congestion was heavy and delays were already occurring as commuters took the alternate SH59 route, Waka Kotahi said.
“Drivers heading in and out of Wellington can expect significant delays while the highway remains closed, and the crash scene is cleared,” the transport agency said.
Congestion heading southbound was beginning to ease around 9.30am, but traffic remained backed up to the Poplar Ave interchange at Raumati South, a spokesperson said.