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The Health and Safety Executive is to investigate a chemical spill at a firm in Northampton, after its staff were told to stay inside for hours.

The incident at the Metokote plant saw 1,000 litres of acid spilt, with some of it reaching outside onto the road.

It caused a large chemical cloud to form, confining staff and causing at least two police officers to be hospitalised with breathing issues. The road also had to be sealed off by police.

Despite the firm's quick response being applauded, the fire service also went on to say that Metokote was not fully prepared to deal with the incident.

An employee of the firm, Paul Kearns, said in response:

"The problem was dealt with efficiently and our staff did an excellent job.

"We were commended by the fire service for our response, and the way we dealt with it and contained it was exemplary.

"Following any issue we do review and revise procedures if necessary and we will review what steps to take next.”

Kearns did accept that greater quantities of agents should have been in stock to neutralise the spill though, which happened when the acid was being delivered to the Daventry plant.

All staff members were checked for health issues, while the police officers received medical attention and were released quickly from hospital.

However, the HSE is still eager to look further into the incident. It will focus on the stocking of neutralising powders and ensure the firm has adequate PPE protective clothing for its staff.

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