Chlorine gas 'accidentally created' at luxury Solent Hotel & Spa in Whiteley sees 24 guests taken to hospital
AN ‘ACCIDENTAL’ chlorine gas leak at a luxury four-star hotel caused 24 guests to be rushed to hospital, fire and rescue service officials have confirmed.
The emergency incident took place at the Solent Hotel & Spa in Rookery Ave, Whiteley, last night.
More than a dozen firefighters were involved in a rescue and clean-up operation after two chemicals accidentally mixed to create the noxious gas, the fire service said.
Crews were scrambled at 8.44pm following reports that a number of hotel guests had been ‘overcome by fumes in the spa area’ following the chemical mix-up.
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 – including some children – were taken to hospital by ambulance crews, an emergency services added.
Firefighters from Hightown, Fareham, Cosham, Portchester, St Mary’s and Romsey worked alongside paramedics and the hazardous area response team from South Central Ambulance Service (Scas).
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 hazardous area response team 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.’
Scas deployed eight ambulances, alongside four ambulance officers and its hazardous area response team.
A spokeswoman added: ‘24 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 emergency came to an end at 1.27am.
The hotel has so far not commented on the incident.
The four-star site’s ‘award-winning’ spa boasts eight treatment rooms.
Meanwhile, its hotel accommodation ranges from £130-a-night in one of the site’s ‘signature rooms’ to £205-a-night for a premier room.
On the venue’s website, the hotel insists ‘safety’ is a top priority and that staff follow all coronavirus guidelines.
Solent added: ‘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.
‘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.’