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BIRLING GAP LATEST
CHEMICAL ALERT INCIDENT
Up to fifty people now being treated at Birling Gap.
Official advice now from authorities—keep doors and windows closed in Pevensey Bay

. . .
Official advice now from Police and Ambulance services to people in Pevensey Bay, keep doors and windows closed because affects of alert are now being being experienced along coast to Pevensey Bay.

News of the alert began about 5:00pm. The Daily Mail in typical fashion explained that the incident was happening at ‘the Suicide spot Beachy Head’. Coastguard, police, ambulances and fire and rescue crews all attended the scene.

The Eastbourne Herald, closer to the local story, added the view that it was a chlorine alert. This opinion was later confirmed by a Police spokesman.

Speculation in the national press also included the possibility that the chlorine had come from a ship, tipped over the side.

Up to 50 people have been affected by ‘the cloud,’ with their eyes and throats ‘burning’.

Samantha Kember from Peveney Bay commented, ‘have just closed all our windows and doors as went to get washing In and my eyes are sore!”.

Emma Towle from nearby Westham added, “It’s awful in westham too!!

Hayley Lockhart said, “Yep we got hit with it 45 mins at least burning eyes streaming. We were camping not now gone home.”

Along the coast in Normans Bay Jane Beej Ranger said “I was just wondering what was making my eyes sore, Norman’s Bay!”

At 8:000pm, the cause of the alert or full affects were still unclear.

The Eastbourne Herald summed up the latest information about the story as follows

  • A suspected chlorine leak has left a haze over Birling Gap
  • People are experiencing irritation to the eyes and throat. There are up to 50 casualties
  • Police are advising people to avoid the area and close windows and doors
  • The haze appears to be moving inland, with people in East Dean and Pevensey Bay also being affected

At 18:09 Sussex Police issued the following statement

Sussex Police
Warning as chemical haze affects people along East Sussex coastline

27 Aug, 2017 18:09 News

A ‘haze’ that is causing discomfort for people along the coast from Eastbourne to Birling Gap has prompted emergency services to warn people to stay away from the beaches and to keep doors and windows closed if living near the coast.

The first report came from Birling Gap just before 5pm on Sunday (August 27) where up to 50 people had been affected by irritation to eyes and throats.

This seems to have been caused by an unknown haze coming in from the sea, but the source has not yet been established.

Emergency services are treating people at Birling Gap and clearing the area. People living along the coast in the area have been advised to keep doors and windows shut and to move away from the Birling Gap area in particular.

20:00
Maritime & Coastguard Agency statement: Birling Gap incident

A ‘haze’ that is causing discomfort for people along the coast from Eastbourne to Birling Gap in Sussex has prompted emergency services to warn people to stay away from the beaches and to keep doors and windows closed, if living near the coast.

The first report came from Birling Gap just before 5pm on Sunday (August 27) where up to 50 people had been affected by irritation to eyes and throats. The UK Coastguard, Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and the South Eastern Ambulance Service are all involved in dealing with the incident.

Coastguard Rescue Teams from Birling Gap, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Newhaven have been involved in clearing the beaches in the area.

RNLI Lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven have been assisting by searching for people stuck on the shoreline.

Steve Carson, commander with the UK Coastguard said: ‘We are working with the other emergency services in the area to help all those affected. Our Coastguard teams are out clearing the beaches. Please help us by leaving the beach if you are asked to.’

This seems to have been caused by an unknown haze coming in from the sea, but the source has not yet been established. People living along the coast in the area have been advised by emergency services to keep doors and windows shut and to move away from the Birling Gap area in particular.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue
‘Chemical haze’ update
Date : 27 August 2017

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service continues to maintain a presence in the local area following a report of a ‘haze’ that is causing discomfort for people along the coast, with affects being reported from Birling Gap to Bexhill and towards Hastings in East Sussex.

Emergency Services are urging people to stay indoors with windows and doors shut and where possible, move away from the area.

If you feel any effects, such as stinging eyes, the South East Coast Ambulance Service is advising to wash with copious amounts of water and that if you have any serious concerns then you should seek medical advice. People are urged not to go to hospital unless an absolute emergency.