FOUR men were taken to hospital and an industrial site was evacuated after a chemical spill at a freight depot in Haydock last night.

More than 400 litres of a highly flammable chemical leaked into the drainage system of the site after two drums were ruptured by a fork lift truck at about 9.30pm on Monday.

A 300-metre cordon was put in place and fire crews were joined by the Hazardous Area Response Team at Rhys Davies Freight off Wilcock Road, Haydock.

The four members of staff were taken to hospital suffering possible chemical inhalation and the entire Old Boston Trading Estate was evacuated.

The chemical, ethoxypropionate, was contained on site by the interceptor drains.

A Mersey Fire and Rescue statement read: “Using breathing apparatus, fire crews covered the affected area with foam to ensure the site was safe and remained at the scene until a private cleaning firm removed the chemical from the drainage system.

At the height of the alert, more than 30 firefighters were at the scene. It was 1.30am before the site was given the all clear.