A HALTON MP is calling for the closure of a Runcorn incinerator after a chemical spillage left six workers being taken to hospital.

MP Derek Twigg is pressing the Environment Agency to shut down the Runcorn Energy from Waste facility whilst an investigation is carried out.

It is the second leak at the Picow Farm Road site in six months.

A spillage of hydrated lime occurred on Thursday, October 30.

Seventeen employees were treated in hospital on March 19 after the same chemical, deemed an irritant to eyes and skin, escaped.

The £452 million incinerator is currently being commissioned.

It will be run by Viridor to supply the neighbouring IneosChlor chemical plant with up to 20 per cent of its energy.

In a letter to the Environment agency, Mr Twigg said: “I ask again that you close this plant down while an investigation takes place and it should not be started again until we have a 100 per cent guarantee that it can be run safely and without causing a nuisance to my constituents.”

Mr Twigg said he has been inundated with complaints about train noise, smells and steam from the plant.

Mr Twigg said: “I want to know why things are going wrong. I am very concerned because this plant seems to be undergoing technical problems.

“I think it is about time stronger action was taken.

“I am still getting a large number of complaints from residents.”

A spokesman for the Runcorn Energy from Waste facility said: “The incident was confined to a small enclosed section of the facility and at no point did any of the material released pass off site.

“The Environment Agency was immediately notified and has indicated it is satisfied that there was no impact from the incident on the environment.

“The construction contractor Keppel Seghers is conducting an investigation into the incident.

“The joint venture owners of the facility will work closely with Keppel Seghers to ensure that it implements all recommendations.

“Such incidents are regrettable. However, overall the project has a good safety record.”