Wheel cleaner prompts evacuation of Gosport's Royal Mail office with five fire appliances present

A MAJOR alert was sparked at a Royal Mail office over a suspected a chemical spill '“ but it turned out to be wheel cleaner.

Thursday, 20th October 2016, 7:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 6:57 pm
Firefighters at the scene of the suspected chemical spillage in Mill Street, Gosport

Workers at the building in Mill Road, Gosport, had been complaining of headaches and nausea after a package spilled.

The fire service was called at 11.20am and five appliances from Gosport, Cosham, Eastleigh and Winchester were sent out.

They were joined by two ambulances and the police and the building was evacuated.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But station manager Dave Graham, the officer at the scene, confirmed to The News at 1.20pm that the liquid was in fact aluminium wheel cleaner, which posed no harm to the public.

He said: ‘We were called as a purple liquid spilt from a package on to the floor and they were concerned by the smell and possible ill effects.

‘We looked at the surroundings and did some testing to identify the chemical, realising it was nothing particularly hazardous.

‘We then went inside and opened the package, which was easily identifiable as aluminium wheel cleaner.

‘It appears the package had been damaged in transit.’

Mr Graham said that the clear liquid had changed colour as it is designed to turn purple when exposed to air and dust.

He added: ‘The post office did the right job and kept the area clear.

‘We take these incidents very seriously as there was a possibility that two of the workers had been affected but it turned out that they were not in any way.’

Wendy Eden, who lives in Mill Road, questioned why the incident needed so many appliances.

She said: ‘When I saw the police and the fire appliances here, I was thinking “Hello, is somebody hurt?”

‘I made the Royal Mail staff some coffee and I was wondering what the smell was – it smelled awful!’