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Twenty-nine taken to hospital after chemical leak at Belton holiday park pool

PUBLISHED: 18:53 21 June 2015 | UPDATED: 08:19 22 June 2015

A policeman at the scene of the chemical leak at the Wild Duck Holiday Park, Belton

A policeman at the scene of the chemical leak at the Wild Duck Holiday Park, Belton

Archant

Twenty-nine people have been taken to hospital and nine more treated by ambulance crews, after a chemical leak at a holiday park near Great Yarmouth.

The youngest person affected by the chlorine leak at the swimming pool at the Wild Duck Holiday Park in Belton this afternoon was just two-years-old.

It is understood that chlorine gas leaked from a plant room at the indoor swimming pool, which caused almost 40 people in the area to fall ill.
Emergency services, including police, ambulance, fire crews and the East Anglian Air Ambulance were called to the park, at Howard’s Common, at just after 2.30pm today.

Thirty-eight patients were assessed by ambulance crews at the site - a mixture of children and adults with ages ranging from two to their mid 40s.

Eight people were initially taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston with asthma and breathing problems. All are reported to be in a stable condition.

A further 21 were later taken to the James Paget and Ipswich Hospital for further monitoring, with police officers helping ambulance crews to transport patients.

The ambulance service sent three ambulance officers, five ambulances, two critical care paramedics and the hazardous area response team - more than 30 staff. The first officer was on scene within five minutes.

It had been reported that people were lying outside the pool wrapped in blankets, while witnesses said they had seen at least six police cars at the scene.

A 20 metre cordon was put in place around the building, while emergency services attended.

Fire crews from Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and Sprowston, including an environmental protection unit, went to the scene. They isolated the leak.

At 5.50pm police issued a statement that the swimming pool had been declared safe.

Superintendent Roger Wiltshire said: “The incident was quickly contained and the site has now been declared safe by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

“The casualties have now been transferred to hospital to be treated and there is no further risk to those staying on the site or to anyone living locally.”

The East Anglian Air Ambulance Anglia One was scrambled to the park, with critical care paramedics Carl Smith and Gary Steward worked on scene alongside other emergency services.

They assessed the patients and prepared them for travel to hospital.

The holiday park is run by Haven and is described as ‘A Norfolk holiday park in a natural woodland setting’. It has heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

The holiday park underwent a £1.2m eco-friendly facelift in 2013.

Haven Holidays spokesman Tom Cassidy said: “There was a chemical leak in the swimming pool in the entertainment complex and it was evacuated while police and fire and rescue were on their way.”

He said, at one point the park was “in lockdown”. He added a member of staff was among those taken to hospital, along with a three-year-old child.

• Were you involved in the incident? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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