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Dozens treated after gas leak at London Olympic pool

gas leak at London Olympic pool
Source: Pixabay

A chlorine gas leak at the swimming arena used during the London 2012 Olympics left 29 people requiring hospital treatment for breathing difficulties on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Around 200 people were evacuated from the Aquatics Centre in east London in what emergency services called a “major incident”.

“This morning we responded to a major incident at the London Aquatic Centre in Stratford, alongside colleagues from the London Fire Brigade and Metropolitan Police,” said Darren Farmer, from the London Ambulance Service.

“We sent a significant number of resources including 13 ambulance crews. We also dispatched medics from London’s Air Ambulance.

“Our crews took 29 patients to hospital and assessed a further 48 patients at the scene. The majority of patients were reporting minor breathing difficulties,” he added.

Swimmers still in costumes and trunks were seen outside the arena, while an eyewitness told AFP that at least one person had been taken away on a stretcher.

Around 30 emergency vehicles from the police, ambulance and fire services attended the scene, with firefighters wearing breathing apparatus seen going in and out of the building.

“Due to a chemical reaction a high quantity of chlorine gas was released inside the centre,” said the London Fire Brigade.

“While we ventilate the premises we would ask those residents in the immediate vicinity to close their doors and windows.”

Police said they were called at around 9:53 am (0953 GMT) to reports of “a leak of noxious fumes at the Aquatics Centre”.

The centre contains the only Olympic-sized swimming pool in London, and was the scene of four gold medals for legendary US swimmer Michael Phelps in 2012.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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