UPDATED 5.40pm. A truck driver died today when his truck and trailer unit left the road on the Tauranga side of the gorge on SH36 today.
The Rotorua Distict command Centre says there were no other vehicles involved in the crash which has left the highway closed overnight.
The highway will remain closed possibly until noon Tuesday because dangerous goods have spilt into the gully on the right hand side of the highway.
DRivers are advised to use SH33. There is a diversion in place at Te Matai Road for Rotorua bound traffic.
A "dangerous substance" is reported to have been spilt into a gully following a serious truck crash whicch has closed down a section of State Highway 36.
Motorists travelling between Tauranga and Rotorua are being warned to use an alternative route.
Emergency services are dealing with a serious accident, which has seen a stretch of the highway near the All Terrain Park shut down.
A truck and trailer unit is understood to have gone over a bank.
Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Ian Campion says diversions are in place
"Tauranga traffic is being diverted down Te Matai Road to the Te Puke Highway, and Rotorua traffic is being diverted around Hamurana Road onto SH33."
Ian says the accident is between a truck and car, and officers are still arriving at the scene.
Northern Fire Communications shift manager Megan Ruru says dangerous goods have been spilled into a gully following the crash.
"A large amount of dangerous goods have been spilled - we don’t know what they are yet, we are trying to locate the truck’s manifest," says Megan.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been notified.
Three fire appliances, two from Rotorua and one from Tauranga, have also been called to the scene.
Police say that as a precaution the load is being treating as hazardous goods and Environmental Protection Agency officials from Bay of Plenty District Council are assisting at the scene.
SunLive will continue to bring you updates when they’re available.
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