Eight-car crash puts 15 in hos­pi­tal

Pipe­line not fully op­er­a­tional un­til next year

Sunday News - - NEWS -

AN eight-ve­hi­cles smash left a mo­tor­cy­clist se­verely in­jured and about 14 others taken to hos­pi­tal yes­ter­day.

It is be­lieved the ac­ci­dent hap­pened af­ter a truck hit the back of an­other ve­hi­cle, which shunted other ve­hi­cles – in­clud­ing a mini­van – across the road into RE­PAIR work on Auck­land’s rup­tured fuel pipe­line is com­plete, but pres­sure won’t be at top ca­pac­ity un­til early next year, of­fi­cials say.

The sin­gle pipe­line which serves vir­tu­ally all fuel to the city, in­clud­ing avi­a­tion fuel to Auck­land In­ter­na­tional Air­port, has been out ac­tion for 10 days af­ter spring­ing a leak due to on­com­ing traf­fic on State High­way 1, at Waireki, north of Taupo about mid­day.

The in­jured were taken to hos­pi­tals in Toko­roa, Taupo¯ and Hamil­ton while the 24-year-old mo­tor­cy­clist from Palmer­ston North , was flown to Ro­torua Hos­pi­tal with se­ri­ous in­juries. his­toric dam­age by a dig­ger.

It was ex­pected the first jet fuel would be pumped to the hold­ing tanks in Wiri by mid­day to­day, Re­fin­ing NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Sje­ord Post said.

But the pipe­line would only grad­u­ally be brought up to full speed.

‘‘We are in a start up process where we are be­ing care­ful with that in the sense that as you open the pipe you get air in the pipe­line and you need to be re­ally care­ful that air doesn’t start to play havoc with the pipe­line pres­sure, so we’re go­ing care­fully,’’ Post said.

The pipe­line will op­er­ate at 80 per cent un­til fur­ther tests were car­ried out over the next few months. ‘‘It’s a bit early to tell – but I think very early next year.’’

Po­lice closed SH1 af­ter yes­ter­day’s crash.

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