Updated at 11.58am
A ‘DANGEROUS’ drum of hydrochloric acid led to several road closures in High Wycombe this morning after leaking on to a busy road.
Wycombe District Council suspects the five gallon drum was hidden among waste in a resident’s wheelie bin before being collected by dustbin crews.
The acid caused a pipe on the truck to burst before leaking out and causing damage to the road surface.
The leak, at the junction of Coates Lane and Green Hill, was reported to police at about 8.15am and led to several road closures and long delays for rush-hour traffic. Roads have now reopened.
Wycombe District Council said in a statement: “Crew were not aware that the substance had been collected as it would have been hidden amongst the waste inside a wheeled bin.
“Crews became aware that a pipe on the refuse truck had burst, stopped to inspect and found the substance leaking out through the vehicle and causing damage to the road surface.”
The council contracts waste firm Veolia to collect household rubbish in the district, and said the firm followed the correct procedures and immediately called the fire brigade.
The statement added: “Veolia have a Hiab (a lorry with mounted crane) on standby to pick up the waste and to deliver it to the appropriate disposal facility as directed by the appropriate authorities. Sweepers are also on standby to clean the area afterwards.
“Refuse collections in the Hughenden and Downley which were due to take place today may be a little delayed but will still take place. Veolia will use crews working in other areas to catch up once their rounds are completed.”
Hughenden Road resident Rob Bowen said they were told there was an unidentified spill.
But he said he was not worried as there were firemen at the scene without any breathing apparatus on.
He said he was told to stay indoors, but he said it wasn't a problem as he works from home.
Mr Bowen added traffic only built up in the last 20 minutes before the road was reopened.
Another resident who did not want to be named said he was a bit concerned as to what it was but stayed indoors, as he was told.
Resident Everard Read said he only found out about it when he saw flashing lights outside the window and he said he was not worried at all.