UPDATE: Investigation into East Sussex gas haze could take ‘some time’

Photo taken at the scene by Eddie Mitchell
Photo taken at the scene by Eddie Mitchell

The investigation into the gas cloud at Birling Gap is likely to take some time to conclude, say emergency services.

Gas monitoring equipment was used in the immediate area on Sunday (August 27) when the fire and rescue service attended the scene where hundreds were affected a chemical haze that spread along the coast.

According to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, this did not result in sufficient readings to conclusively identify the gas, which makes it more difficult to discover where it came from.

A multi-agency group was established to deal with the immediate incident. This considered the opinion of experts who gave the view it was unlikely to be chlorine due to the symptoms and situation described.

Richard O’Callaghan, Duty Manager at the Environment Agency said, “We are currently investigating any potential onshore sources of the pollution.

“To date we have not identified anything that could be attributed to the mist. We are liaising with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who are doing similar investigations offshore.”

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

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has been stood down from the incident but remains ready to assist if required.