Eastbourne Council boss speaks out over chemical haze

Photo by Eddie Mitchell
Photo by Eddie Mitchell

The leader of Eastbourne Borough Council has called for the source of the problem to be identified after a chemical gas cloud gripped the area over the weekend.

More than 150 people were given medical treatment for the effects – including throat problems and sore eyes – from the unknown haze which was first reported at Birling Gap and moved down the coast to as far as Bexhill.

Councillor David Tutt said, “I would like to thank our partners from the various emergency services for their professionalism and expertise.

“There were a large number of people affected on Sunday and the speed of the response clearly helped limit the scale of the problem. Eastbourne District General Hospital deserve great credit for treating so many people very quickly and effectively.

“I am also grateful to the members of the public who left the beaches in such an orderly and responsible manner.

“It is now important that the source of the problem is identified to ensure there is no repetition. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is the lead agency on the response and the council will provide them with its full support.”

Neither the gas nor its source have been established but the cloud has now dissipated and advice to keep windows and doors closed has now been withdrawn.

Anyone still suffering the effects are advised by Public Health England to irrigate their eyes if they are irritated and to wash any other irritated areas with plenty of soap and water.