Chemical haze update: Investigation into gas cloud focusing on ship as source

Photo by Eddie Mitchell
Photo by Eddie Mitchell

Police supporting the investigation into the chemical haze that descended on East Sussex on Sunday (August 28) say it is focusing ‘predominantly’ on the possibility of a ship as its source.

A major incident was declared after the gas cloud, which was first spotted at Birling Gap at around 5pm, left hundreds of people with streaming eyes and sore throats.

Sussex Police say its involvement is now only in support of other agencies.

The Environment Agency, which look into onshore sources, has said to date it has not identified anything that could be attributed to the mist. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is undertaking similar investigations offshore, has said that investigations are continuing and may take several days to conclude.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said, “It is understandable that the public want answers; however, all agencies involved have asked that investigators are given time to carry out their work rather than speculate on possible causes.”

Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly said: “This has been an incident that has called upon the resources of a large number of services and agencies and for some of those, including Sussex Police, it has now concluded.

“However, we remain in touch with colleagues and should our support be needed, we will, of course, be happy to assist.”