Eastbourne Gas Cloud 'Extremely Unlikely' To Be Chlorine

Monday 28th August 2017

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Beaches in Eastbourne and Birling Gap are expected to be open as normal today (28 August) after yesterday’s gas cloud saw the area cleared by emergency services.

Chief Inspector Bruce Mathews has said on social media that ‘East Sussex will be open to enjoy’ but added that police will continue to monitor the situation.

Around 150 people sought medical treatment yesterday, with East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trusts revising their initial figure of 233 people turning up to Eastbourne DGH, down to 133. Hundreds more are believed to have been affected by the gas, which left people with irritated eyes, breathing problems and sore throats.

No one was admitted to hospital for further treatment and after an initial full decontamination treatment centre was set up at the DGH, it was later declared an unnecessary precaution, following clinical advice.

Anyone still suffering is being advised by Public Health England to wash their eyes with copious amounts of water and to wash all over with plenty of soap and water, which will be sufficient to decontaminate their bodies. If you were affected and after taking the precautions recommended you still feel ill, contact 111 for advice and only visit A&E if you are still suffering significant effects.

While the nature of the gas hasn't been established, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has advised that it is 'extremely unlikely' that it was chlorine, as was being suggested on social media. The effects, while uncomfortable, were not serious and an investigation is now under way by a number of agencies working in partnership to establish the source of the gas.

It is believed that it came in from the sea, but this has not been confirmed and work continues to locate the cause.

With another fine day expected for Bank Holiday Monday, thousands of people are expected to flock to the coast once again. The situation will continue to be monitored, but it is believed that this was an isolated incident and is not expected to recur.

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