Yesterday, 11 December, Firefighters attended a chemical incident at a gym on Uxbridge Road in Hanwell.
Unsafe chemical fumes are believed to have been caused by a mixture of chemicals which produced a chlorine gas. Around 70 people were evacuated from the gym before firefighters arrived and a 25 metre cordon was put in place as a precaution. Nine people were taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews after being treated at the scene.
Firefighters helped ventilate the building after elevated readings of chlorine gas were detected following a sweep of the building. Firefighters, wearing hazardous materials suits, also worked to clean up a chemical spillage inside a plant room.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Most cleaning chemicals are either acid or alkali based – and if they were to be mixed, there is a very real risk that there will be a chemical reaction. This reaction can often release a harmful, irritable or even toxic gas which can have an incredibly strong smell and have a harmful effect on anyone breathing in these gases, especially the young and the elderly.
“Inhaling this gas can cause breathing difficulties as well as choking and irritation of the airway. The gas can also cause eyes to water and, in stronger concentrations, can cause loss of consciousness. If you accidentally cause this chemical reaction, it is vital you leave the premises immediately and call 999.”
London Fire Brigade were called at 8:35pm and the incident was over for firefighters by 11:48pm. Two fire engines from Ealing and Southall fire stations and a fire and rescue unit from Wembley Fire Station attended the scene.