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9.30pm UPDATE: Overturned lorry on A697 was carrying low-level radioactive waste

The A697 in north Northumberland remains closed after a lorry carrying radioactive material overturned.

Emergency services are still dealing with the accident near Thrunton and the road remains closed from New Moor House crossroads to the Bridge of Aln.

The lorry is thought to be carrying more than 60 drums of naturally-occurring radioactive waste, however Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has said there is no risk from what is on board.

An alert from Northumberland County Council says it is being treated as a major incident and that the road is likely to be closed for the forseeable future.

The area has been cordoned off to allow the vehicle to be recovered and for the load to be removed.

Diversions are in place via the B6341 towards Alnwick. Lorries are advised not to use the A697 in its entirety and to instead use the A1.

The Environment Agency has also been informed.

9.30pm UPDATE

Northumbria Police have said the lorry was carrying a potentially hazardous substance and inquiries have been carried out to establish the level of risk this posed. It has been identified to involve material with “a very low level of potential radioactivity and the risk from the material is very low”.

The substance has not spilled onto the road.

Chief Superintendent Chris Thomson, said: “The substance the lorry was carrying has been identified to pose a very low risk, however, we recognise people may be concerned and I would like to reassure them that everything is being done to ensure the vehicle is removed and the road is reopened as soon as possible.”

The road will remain closed, as a precaution, to allow for the vehicle to be removed. Diversions are still in place via the B6134.

 

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