Emergency service workers in Limburg have begun a major clean-up operation after a tanker began leaking hydrochloric acid following a crash.
The accident happened on the A73 when a vehicle drove into the back of the tanker. So far at least 35 people who were travelling in cars behind the lorry have been taken for check-ups, two of whom have breathing problems, website nu.nl says.
Hydrochloric acid, which is widely used in industry, is highly corrosive and forms an acidic mist which can damage respiratory organs, eyes, skin and intestines irreversibly.
An ambulance helicopter, two emergency medical teams and 18 fire engines were called to the accident, which happened in the early afternoon, nu.nl reports.
The incident has been declared level GRIP 3, which means there is potential danger for local residents. People living in the Merum district of Roermond have been told to keep doors and windows closed.
The A73 itself has been closed in both directions and will remain shut until at least 19.00 hours. This is likely to have a considerable impact on the evening rush hour, traffic officials said. Diversions have been set up.
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