UPDATE: Eastbourne DGH declares '˜major incident' after suspected chlorine leak

Eastbourne District General Hospital has declared a '˜major incident' after a suspected chlorine leak today (Sunday, August 27).

Sunday, 27th August 2017, 9:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 9:50 pm
Birling Gap major incident. Eastbourne DGH. Photo by Eddie MItchell.

A spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust confirmed the DGH had declared a ‘major incident’ after up to 50 people at Birling Gap reported stinging eyes, breathing problems and sore throats when a ‘haze’ descended on the area.

People across Eastbourne and surrounding areas, including Pevensey and East Dean, have also reported the same symptoms. Sussex Police said the haze is spreading eastwards, towards Bexhill and Hastings.

A triage tent has been erected at the DGH, where those affected by today’s incident are being treated by hospital staff in protective clothing.

Birling Gap major incident. Eastbourne DGH. Photo by Eddie MItchell.

Ben Hooper, an emergency medical advisor, took to Twitter to advise people what to do should they feel any discomfort or irritation of the eyes.

He said: “We were advised to instruct people to wash eyes with water and symptoms should subside soon after exposure has ended.”

If the symptoms persist, people are told to seek medical advice, although only attend hospital if it is an absolute emergency.

Sussex Police advice is to remain indoors and keep all doors and windows shut.

Birling Gap major incident. Eastbourne DGH. Photo by Eddie MItchell.

The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has been contacted for a full comment.

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Birling Gap major incident. Eastbourne DGH. Photo by Eddie MItchell.
Birling Gap major incident. Eastbourne DGH. Photo by Eddie MItchell.
About 150 people were treated at Eastbourne District General Hospital. Picture: Eddie MItchell.
Birling Gap major incident. Eastbourne DGH. Photo by Eddie MItchell.