Ambulance crews have rushed a total of 24 people including children to hospital from a four-star spa hotel in Hampshire after they breathed in chlorine gas created in a chemical accident.
Guests were evacuated from the Solent Hotel and Spa on Rookery Avenue in Whiteley, Fareham, after a hazardous material in the spa area caused some people to suffer from itchy eyes.
Crews were scrambled at around 8.45pm following reports that a number of hotel guests had been ‘overcome by fumes in the spa area’ following the chemical mix-up.
Breathing apparatus was supplied by a Hazardous Area Response Team from South Central Ambulance Service, which was also at the scene in Rookery Avenue in Whiteley.
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service was involved in a rescue and clean-up operation at the Solent Hotel & Spa after two chemicals accidentally mixed to create the noxious gas
A Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service spokeswoman said: ‘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.
‘Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service 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.
‘In total, 24 people were taken to hospital by ambulance crews.’
Station manager Dave Graham 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 SCAS and SCAS 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.’
An SCAS spokeswoman said: ‘We sent to the scene four ambulance officers, our Hazardous Area Response Team and eight ambulance crews, who worked closely alongside partners from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service to respond to the situation and to care for those who needed medical attention.
‘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.’
The hotel had been ‘fully open’ for overnight stays and spa breaks. On the venue’s website, it insists staff strive to keep guests ‘safe’, maintaining government guidelines to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
‘Whilst many visible signs of our safety measures have now been removed, we want you to feel reassured that your safety and our team member’s safety are of utmost importance,’ the hotel says on its website.
‘We continue to operate in a very safe way – a way which has become the new normal for us and we continue to follow the government guidelines which can be seen here for overnight stays and here for dining and drinking.’