Colchester: Health Protection Agency waits to analyse samples from chemical scare building

THE Health Protection Agency (HPA) is standing by to analyse samples from a Colchester office building after a suspected chemical leak.

A spokesman for the agency said it would wait for contact from Essex-based environmental health officers before acting.

Thirty-two office workers – including some from county council building Essex House – fell ill on Friday reporting a strange smell.

The incident on Colchester Business Park sparked evacuations and the setting up of a 400metre exclusion zone around the site in The Crescent.

But, three days on, mystery still surrounds what caused dozens of workers to begin feeling dizzy and nauseated around lunchtime.

A spokesman for the HPA said: “We have been told there was some kind of smell and people were ill and some were taken to hospital but everyone recovered quickly after leaving the vicinity.

“It’s up to environmental health to go into the building and see if there’s some facility there leaking.

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“I presume they’ll be doing that over the weekend and if there’s something to look at we will.

“We won’t do anything until they send us something to analyse.”

The ambulance service said three people were taken to Colchester General Hospital but their conditions were not life-threatening.

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