Children among those taken to hospital after accidental chemical mix creates chlorine gas at Whiteley hotel

  • Original Article: Hampshire Live
  • Date: Aug 2021

A “large-scale” incident at a Hampshire hotel spa which saw 24 people including children taken to hospital was caused after chlorine gas was created following an accidental chemical mix.

Guests were evacuated from the Solent Hotel & Spa on Rookery Avenue in Whiteley, near Fareham yesterday evening (August 23) after a hazardous material in the spa area caused some people to suffer from itchy eyes.

Firefighters from Hightown, Fareham, Cosham, Portchester, St Mary’s and Romsey were called at 8.44pm following reports that a number of hotel guests had been overcome by fumes in the spa area.

The large-scale incident occurred after “two chemicals had accidentally been mixed together and created chlorine gas”, a fire service spokesperson said.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) began immediate emergency care, set up a casualty handling area and requested the ambulance service to attend.

They worked alongside paramedics and the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).

In total, 24 people were taken to hospital by ambulance crews, including children.

Four ambulance officers and eight ambulance crews were in attendance and took patients ranging from children to those in their 50s to University Hospital Southampton.

A South Central Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We received a call last night at 20:47 to reports of an incident where patients had been overcome by fumes as a result of a chemical incident.

“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.”

Station manager Dave Graham added: “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 HART 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.”

Fire crews left the scene at 1.27am today (August 24) after a ventilation fan was used to clear the fumes.

Firefighters took the vessel containing chemicals to fresh air and gas monitors were used to check that the scene was safe.

In a statement on their Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, Solent Hotel and Spa said:

“We can confirm that an incident occurred within the spa and fitness areas of the Solent Hotel and Spa last night.

“Our main priority is our guests’ and team members’ health and wellbeing and we temporarily evacuated the hotel. We are pleased to say that the hotel is open and the spa and fitness facilities re-opened as normal this morning.

“We thank you for your understanding and support at this time and look forward to welcoming you soon.”