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South London 'Chemical Incident' Sees Residents Evacuated

There were reports of people vomiting.

17/09/2017 15:54 | Updated 17 September 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
A cordon put in place by fire crews at Alwold Crescent in Lee, south London, where residents were rushed to hospital with nausea and vomiting amid fears of a chemical incident.

A feared chemical incident in south London that left residents with nausea and vomiting is believed to be a gas leak, emergency services have said.

Emergency crews were called to Alwold Crescent in Lee amid fears locals may have suffered an allergic reaction.

Several people were taken to hospital and six homes were evacuated in Alwold Crescent, Lee, on Sunday morning while the London Fire Brigade tried to identify the possible cause.

Twelve residents were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Residents at one end of the crescent were asked to leave their homes at around 11.30am and a cordon was erected.

Three fire engines were on the scene, as well as representatives from Thames Water, but no unusually high levels of any dangerous chemicals were found.

Wayne Higgins, 50, said that he and his neighbours had been feeling unwell for the last few days.

The fire brigade have been here checking if there are chemicals or toxins. For the moment we don’t know when we will be allowed back in - not until they find out the cause of the problem.

“We just assumed everyone had a cold or something was going round.”

Mr Higgins said they didn’t start thinking it was a gas leak until yesterday evening.

PA Wire/PA Images
Emergency services personnel and staff from Thames Water and the local authority of Greenwich at Alwold Crescent in Lee, south London, where residents were rushed to hospital with nausea and vomiting amid fears of a chemical incident.

Kevin Dobbins, 31, who was also asked to leave his home, said: “I haven’t smelled anything or felt the effects myself. I know there were neighbours who were experiencing sickness and those who were smelling gas a few days ago.

“They did pull us all together and had a meeting with us saying you will have to leave the area and it could be throughout the night and in to tomorrow.

“They are still uncertain. They have done checks and they’ve ruled out a few different things. They believe it could be a small gas leak.”

Ian Crouch, 39, told The Sun Online: “I could see the emergency services outside my house.

“When I spoke to a policeman he said there were people complaining of irritation, who had been throwing up all morning.”

A spokeswoman for the London Fire Brigade said: “We were called to the smell of chemicals and we’ve swept the area to check for raised levels (of gas or chemicals).

“We haven’t found any raised levels and we are handing over to the gas board.”

A spokeswoman for Southern Gas Network (SGN) said: “SGN is supporting the ongoing multi-agency response into the incident at Lee in south east London.

“Following reports of residents feeling unwell, around six properties were evacuated by the London Fire Brigade earlier. The situation is being investigated by the emergency services, utility companies and the local authority.

“As part of the ongoing investigation, SGN engineers are carrying out routine safety checks in the immediate area.”

 

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