Patients moved in from within emergency department after reports of staff falling sick (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Smell of gas reported at hospital last night
PATIENTS were moved from the resuscitation area of the emergency department at Basingstoke hospital last night after firefighters were told several members of staff were sick and dizzy and a smell of gas was reported.
Ambulances were diverted to Winchester hospital for several hours as firefighters dealt with the incident. The fire service received a call from staff at the hospital at 8.03pm and 18 firefighters rushed to the scene.
By the time they arrived part of the emergency department had been closed off and evacuated.
Crew manager at Basingstoke fire station, David Bowen, said: “When we arrived they had evacuated the resuscitation area and five members of staff had started to feel the effects of gas with sickness and dizziness.”
The firefighters, who attended in five appliances from Basingstoke and Winchester stations, declared the situation a hazardous materials incident.
Crew manager Bowen said they had to go into the emergency department to remove vital resuscitation equipment.
After a thorough investigation, which did not reveal what had caused the smell of gas, they left the scene at 11.30pm.
At no point did the firefighters actually smell gas.
Crew manager Bowen said: “That is fairly unusual, but it’s just one of those things.
“We were there for a long time, used all of our equipment to determine the cause but could not find anything.
“Whatever caused the staff to feel ill was gone when we turned up.”