Chemical incident at hotel spa leaves 24 needing hospital treatment in Hampshire

A chlorine gas that was “accidentally” released at a four star hotel and spa in Hampshire has left 24 people – including some children – needing hospital treatment.

People at the resort started to suffer breathing problems on Monday evening, and the emergency services were called at 8.44pm.

Firefighters went to the scene, where they found the poisonous gas – infamous for its use in the trenches during the First World War.

Paramedics were called to the Solent Hotel and Spa in Whiteley, which is between Southampton and Portsmouth.

Guests ranging from children to those in their fifties were treated by the emergency services at the scene, before being taken to hospital.

Following the incident, the facilities were able to reopen on Tuesday morning.

A spokesman for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) said: “Crews were called following reports that a number of hotel guests had been overcome by fumes in the spa area after two chemicals had accidentally been mixed together and created chlorine gas.

“We began immediate emergency care, set up a casualty handling area and requested the ambulance service to attend.

“A ventilation fan was used to clear the fumes and firefighters took the vessel containing chemicals to fresh air. Gas monitors were used to check that the scene was safe.”

A Facebook post from the Solent Hotel and Spa said: “We can confirm that an incident occurred within the spa and fitness areas of the Solent Hotel and Spa last night.

“Our main priority is our guests’ and team members’ health and wellbeing and we temporarily evacuated the hotel. We are pleased to say that the hotel is open and the spa and fitness facilities re-opened as normal this morning.

“We thank you for your understanding and support at this time and look forward to welcoming you soon.”

Dave Graham, a station manager for the fire service, said: “This was a large-scale incident with multiple people requiring medical treatment for the inhalation of gas.

“We worked well alongside our colleagues from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) and SCAS Hazardous Area Response Team (Hart) to make sure that everyone received the help they needed and to ensure that the scene was made safe.

“We handed the incident over to the hotel management.”

A SCAS spokeswoman said: “Twenty-four patients, ranging from children to those in their 50s, were assessed and treated by our ambulance teams for breathing difficulties.

“Following treatment at the scene by our crews, those patients were taken to University Hospital Southampton for further assessment for those non life-threatening injuries.”

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