Large parts of Trafford Park in Manchester have been cordoned off by police after a chemical leak at an industrial estate this evening.
Police have urged residents in the area to stay indoors and to keep windows closed.
Manchester Fire and Rescue services described it as a "major" incident but emergency crews said no one is thought to have been injured.
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Police said the child, who was without a driving licence, was trying to make his way 2,500 miles from the east coast to Perth.
The 24-year-old was charged with 14 counts of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and one count of throwing a corrosive fluid.
Winds will veer northerly overnight with colder air streaming in over the next few days.