Truck carrying human waste rolls onto train tracks

All trains have been stopped as emergency services staff work to remove the driver from the truck. Photo / Supplied
All trains have been stopped as emergency services staff work to remove the driver from the truck. Photo / Supplied

A truck carrying up to 2000 litres of human poo has rolled and landed on train tracks in Taranaki.

All trains using the line were stopped as emergency services worked to remove the driver from the truck, which rolled on State Highway 3A in the Sentry Hill area, near New Plymouth about 2pm.

The truck's driver was cut free of the vehicle about 3.30pm and was taken to Taranaki Base Hospital in a stable condition, a police spokeswoman said.

Emergency services are still at the scene, working to remove the truck from the railway tracks, and a witness said foul smelling human excrement was leaking from the tank.

A fire service spokesman said the truck was carrying bio-waste, and a decontamination team was at the scene to assist with the clean-up, along with police, ambulance, five fire crews and a hazardous substances unit.

This is not the first time a truck carrying bio-waste has crashed, necessitating an unpleasant clean up.

In January, motorists on Auckland's Southern Motorway were urged to wash their vehicles after a truckload of untreated human waste spilled onto the road.

The truck collided with a car just south of Manurewa, and rolled onto its side, causing heavy traffic delays past Orams Rd as emergency crews tried to contain the waste, which was being transported from the Auckland Sewage Treatment Plant.

Acting Auckland highway manager Mieszko Iwaskow warned motorists who came into contact with the waste to be careful: "We'd hate for anyone's vehicle to be damaged by this effluent so our advice would be to use a garden hose to wash the paint and the undercarriage of your vehicle, and be careful not to use your bare hands."

- NZ Herald

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