Inquiry into mystery toxic haze

editorial image

A Government inquiry is to be launched into the Bank Holiday Monday mystery chemical mist which saw scores of people having to be treated at Eastbourne DGH.

The toxic mist shrouded the coastline round Birling Gap in August and quickly moved towards Eastbourne, causing stinging eyes and breathing difficulties for people.

Emergency services rushed to the scene and beaches were evacuated but the source of the haze has never been determined.

Now the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced a review into “all aspects” of the incident.

In particular the review is expected to examine why a sample of the mist was not taken at the time.

Defra previously reported “appropriate equipment was not available at the site and the gas cloud dispersed quickly”.

Mystery has surrounded the exact cause of the mystery haze with various theories being speculated upon.

The most likely cause, according to official bodies including the Coastguard & Maritime Agency is that a passing cargo ship was involved in cleaning out containers as it passed along the shipping lane and the mist it caused moved inland.