SH1 reopened this afternoon at 3.30pm after a large diesel spill closed the highway earlier this morning.
The spillage occurred after a truck and trailer unit carrying coal crashed into the rear of a diesel tanker. The crash ruptured one compartment of the diesel tanker, spilling around 4000 litres of diesel across the highway.
Most of the diesel flowed into a stormwater drain and despite efforts to stop it, some flowed into the Waikato River.
The spill closed the highway from 11.30am today.
Police say the diesel tanker was stopped at the intersection of Great South Rd (SH1) and Tainui Bridge Rd when the truck and trailer crashed into it. The diesel tanker had just unloaded four compartments of diesel at a nearby service station. There was one remaining compartment still full of fuel.
Police say it is too early to say what, if any, charges will be laid in relation to the crash and spill. The driver of the coal truck was taken to Waikato Hospital with a minor leg injury, but was discharged a short time later.
Workers at nearby businesses were also evacuated as a precautionary measure.
The highway remains open this evening, but there is a 30km/h speed limit in place while sand is laid to soak up the residual diesel on the road.