Twelve people unwell after chemical incident at Royal Mail depot in Colchester

Employees at the Royal Mail Depot in Moorside Colchester return to work after the depot was evacuate

Employees at the Royal Mail Depot in Moorside Colchester return to work after the depot was evacuated for a suspected chemical spillage. - Credit: Su Anderson

Investigations are underway into a chemical incident at the Royal Mail depot at Moorside, Colchester.

Essex Fire officers investigate at the Royal Mail Depot in Moorside Colchester that was evacuated fo

Essex Fire officers investigate at the Royal Mail Depot in Moorside Colchester that was evacuated for a suspected chemical spillage. - Credit: Su Anderson

Reports were received just after 3.30am that there was a strong smell of chemicals and that 12 people were unwell.

Firefighters at the scene said the chemical was thought to be diesel that had spilt into the River Colne, with witnesses describing a sheen on the water.

The casualties received medical treatment and were allowed to go home, a police spokesman said.

Divisional Officer Gary Jeffery said: “Crews have carried out investigation work and no trace of any chemical has been detected. One possible cause could be diesel in the River Colne and the Environment Agency is currently establishing any link to the incident.”

A substance thought to be diesel in the River Colne is thought to be the cause of the chemical smell

A substance thought to be diesel in the River Colne is thought to be the cause of the chemical smells at the Royal Mail Depot in Moorside Colchester that was evacuated. - Credit: Su Anderson

All roads are now re-opened.