Two hurt in highway acid spill

Thirty-five people were pulled from their vehicles by rescue workers after a truck loaded with hydrochloric acid was rear ended. The acid sprayed out of a tanker prompting a large-scale emergency response that shut highways and railways.

Two of the 35 people taken from the scene were transported to an area hospital complaining of respiratory problems, a Limburg safety region spokesperson said. The remaining 33 were examined by doctors setup near the scene, and released.

Workers at the scene managed to plug the truck leak, newswire ANP reported.

Rail traffic between Roermond and Sittard was allowed to restart from about 4:30 p.m. Highway closures are expected to last beyond evening rush hour.

The accident happened Wednesday afternoon on the A73 near the A2 junction close to Sint Odiliënberg in Limburg. Emergency sirens rang out across the area and residents nearby were told to keep their doors and windows shut.

A GRIP 3 response was triggered be the regional safety officials, meaning a large municipal area is affected. It calls for the mayor to meet with advisors to react to developments, and requires the National Crisis Center to notify the Minister of the Interior.

The Grip alarm was cleared by 3:30 p.m.