Twenty-four people were taken to hospital by ambulance crews last night after two chemicals were accidentally mixed at a hotel's spa, creating chlorine gas.
Firefighters from Hightown, Fareham, Cosham, Portchester, St Mary's and Romsey worked alongside paramedics and the Hazardous Area Response Team from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) last night (23 August) to attend an incident at the four-AA-star, 115-bedroom Solent hotel in Fareham, Hampshire.
Crews were called at 8.44pm following reports that a number of hotel guests had been overcome by fumes in the spa area.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) began immediate emergency care, set up a casualty handling area and requested the ambulance service to attend.
A ventilation fan was used to clear the fumes and firefighters took the vessel containing chemicals to fresh air. Gas monitors were used to check that the scene was safe.
Station manager Dave Graham said: "This was a large-scale incident with multiple people requiring medical treatment for the inhalation of gas.
"We worked well alongside our colleagues from SCAS and SCAS HART to make sure that everyone received the help they needed and to ensure that the scene was made safe. We handed the incident over to the hotel management."
A statement from SCAS said the 24 patients, ranging from children to those in their 50s, were assessed and treated by ambulance teams for breathing difficulties. Following treatment at the scene they were taken to University Hospital Southampton for further assessment of their injuries, which were not life-threatening.
The venue was temporarily evacuated but was able to reopen this morning.
A statement by general manager George French said: "We can confirm that a serious incident occurred within the Solent Hotel and Spa. The incident, which took place within the spa and fitness areas, was brought to our attention yesterday evening (23 August) and the emergency services were contacted. We evacuated all guests from the hotel on the instruction of the fire service and have been cooperating with them throughout the night and continue to do so.
"Unfortunately, some of our guests who had been using the spa facilities yesterday evening were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. Our main priority is our guests' and team members' health and wellbeing and we will share further information as soon as it becomes available. This incident is under investigation so we are unable to release specific details but Solent hotel is currently open and the spa and fitness facilities re-opened as normal at 8am this morning (24 August)."