Firefighters tackle chemical leak

Firefighters are tonight dealing with a chemical leak at an industrial estate in Suffolk.Firecrews were called to Wychem at an industrial estate at Stradishall, near Haverhill.

FIREFIGHTERS in chemical suits were last night trying to prevent a toxic gas leaking from a industrial building in Stradishall, near Haverhill.

Crews discovered the gas when they answered an automatic fire alarm at the Wychem chemical processing plant in Stradishall at about 7.30pm.

The fumes were contained within the building but the Environment Agency was contacted in case the gas escaped and was blown to residential areas or entered drainage systems.

Six appliances including two chemical teams from Haverhill and Newmarket were dispatched to the premises off the A143 while police put up road blocks around a mile away.

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Firefighters put on chemical suits as a precaution but they did not enter the building. They were also deliberating with chemical specialists and the management team from Wychem over how to tackle the situation.

Neighbouring homes were not evacuated during the drama and it is not believed anyone was hurt.

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A spokesman from the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “The priority is to find out where the leak is coming from. The gas is within the building at the moment but we are standing by until we can ascertain the course of action. The Environment Agency is in attendance in case the gas leaks into the environment. We have gauged the weather conditions and wind direction so we can be aware of the situation if it were to leak out of the building.''

Late last night, firefighters were expected to remain at the scene until the situation resolved.

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