Hawke's Bay hospital maternity ward safe following chemical spill

Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital's maternity ward has returned to normal after it was evacuated following a chemical spill this morning.

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Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) have advised all parts of the hospital are safe and there is no risk to patients, public and staff.

Emergency services and a Hazmat vehicle were called to the hospital's maternity ward, where the spill occurred, at around 9.35am, Fire and Emergency New Zealand services told 1 NEWS.

Twenty-four people were evacuated from the maternity unit as a precaution and moved to other parts of the hospital while FENZ investigated.

A Emergency New Zealand spokesperson has told 1NEWS the chemical was formalin, a liquid widely used in hospitals as an antiseptic. 

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board will also be undertaking its own investigation as to how the spill occurred.