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Mysterious 'Chemical Haze' on UK Coast Hospitalizes 150

Mysterious 'Chemical Haze' on UK Coast Hospitalizes 150

Beach at Brighton, East Sussex, in England. (Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 28 August 2017 08:44 AM

A mysterious chemical haze off the UK coast of Sussex led to up to 150 people being hospitalized over the weekend as officials still were trying on Monday to figure out where it came from.

Emergency personnel treated people for burning eyes, vomiting, and sore throats after they were affected by the mystery haze that made land near Beachy Head Sunday afternoon, The Independent reported.

Some scientists theorized the haze, which had dissipated by Monday morning, may have come from shipping in the English Channel or had blown from further along the English coast.

Rebecca Balldock, 21, from St Albans, and two friends were on a beach near Beachy Head when the haze hit, she told The Guardian.

"We went for a swim and when we got out, our eyes were itching," Balldock told The Guardian. "We thought it was because we'd been swimming in the sea, but it kept getting worse and worse. When we were climbing up the steps to get off the beach, we were all crying and could hardly see.”

"People were getting up from the beach and rushing for the stairs to get away. When we got to the top, some medics took us to wash our eyes and told us there was a chemical incident. But even when we'd washed our eyes, we were crying again."

Police lifted an order for residents around the Eastbourne area to stay inside and close their windows, The Independent said.

"While the nature of the gas hasn't been established, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has advised that it is 'extremely unlikely' that it was chlorine, as was being suggested on social media," a Sussex Police statement said Monday.

"The effects, while uncomfortable, were not serious and an investigation is now under way by a number of agencies working in partnership to establish the source of the gas. It is believed that it came in from the sea, but this has not been confirmed and work continues to locate the cause," the statement continued.

The East Sussex Healthcare National Health Service Trust told The Guardian that it learned about the haze moving from Birling Gap to Eastbourne on Sunday.

"Six patients initially presented to us with minor symptoms," East Sussex Healthcare stated, per The Guardian. "As at (11:30 p.m., local time) this number has risen to more than 100 patients being cared for by us at our Eastbourne district general hospital site.

"The patients we are caring for are being decontaminated on site by our trained hospital staff. We are working with East Sussex fire and rescue and being supported on site by Secamb and the police," the comment continued.

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A mysterious chemical haze off the UK coast of Sussex led to up to 150 people being hospitalized over the weekend as officials still were trying on Monday to figure out where it came from.
mysterious, chemical, haze, uk, coast, hospitalizes 150
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2017-44-28
Monday, 28 August 2017 08:44 AM
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