UPDATE: Eastbourne DGH declares ‘major incident’ after suspected chlorine leak

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

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

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.

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.”

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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