Chemical incident at waste facility in Runcorn

About 20 people were taken to hospital following an incident at a waste management facility in Runcorn.

Workmen at the Keppel Seghers site in Percival Lane came into contact with ash left over by a burning process.

They were taken to Warrrington Hospital complaining of eye irritation and respiratory problems at about 12:00 GMT.

The Accident and Emergency department was partially closed in case of contamination but has now re-opened.

A police spokesman said: "This is an isolated incident contained within the site and there are no wider risks to the public."

Powder concern

Chris Horner, from Warrington Hospital, said: "We received about 20 casualties from a suspected chemical-related incident, most of whom arrived by work minibus.

"Some were complaining of eye irritation because they had been covered in some kind of powder in the incident.

"They were assessed and treated quickly by staff. The powder was of low toxin and most had minor injuries.

"A couple of patients who may have breathed in the powder are being kept in for observation but are not thought to be seriously hurt."

Some ambulances were diverted to the emergency department of the Whiston Hospital during the incident.

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