Dangerous chemical alert

Press release from Greater Manchester Police

Police are appealing for information after hazardous materials were removed from a stolen van which has been found in Manchester.

At around 7.20am on Monday 22 June 2020, Lancashire Police were called to reports that a Ford Transit van (ND59 VBE), containing hazardous materials, had been stolen from the Darwen area of Lancashire.

At around 11.45am on Wednesday 1 July 2020, the van was found on Leconfield Drive, Blackley.

The van contained Talunex - an Aluminium Phosphide-based chemical which is used to control vermin. Talunex is very toxic if swallowed and emits a very toxic gas upon contact with water and acids. Talunex should only be handled by specially trained operators. It is in tablet form and the capsules are light grey, gardenpea-sized spheres with a seam around the centre. The tablets were last known to be stored in a grey aluminium box.

The van also contained petrol, fertiliser and pesticides.

Please note that the image of the grey aluminium box is a replica. The stolen box does not have any white writing on it.

Image of trailer attached to the van when it was stolen. This is also missing.

An investigation is underway.

No casualties have been reported.

No arrests have been made.

Superintendent Rebecca Boyce, of GMP's City of Manchester district, said: "The removal of these hazardous materials from the van is incredibly concerning but I would like to reassure members of the public that a major investigation is underway to find and safely recover them.

"The person/ people who removed the Talunex from the van probably did not know how very toxic the chemical is. I appeal directly to them to contact us or Crimestoppers, anonymously, and share the location of the Talunex so that specialists can safely recover it.

"I must stress that the Talunex should not be touched, sniffed or eaten. If this happens, please seek medical assistance immediately.

"I also appeal to members of the public to be alert and to dial 999 immediately if they have seen or do see anything which may be the Talunex or any of the other hazardous materials which have been removed from the van. Do not touch, sniff or eat it."

Anyone with information should contact police on 999 quoting log 943 of 01/07/20 or the independent charity - Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 554 111.

Issued by GMP Press Office
Telephone: 0161 856 2220
Email: press.office@gmp.police.uk

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Date published
Thursday 2 July 2020

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