Part of St Richard's Hospital evacuated due to fire

Fire crews at St Richard's hospital in Chichester
Image caption The fire started near to hospital laboratories

Patients and staff were evacuated from part of a West Sussex hospital after a fire broke out in a store room.

The fire at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester was treated as a hazardous chemical incident by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Services at the hospital have returned to normal after the fire in the pathology department.

It started at 14:00 BST and was contained within one room near a laboratory which had chemicals in.

Ambulances were diverted to Worthing and Portsmouth as a precaution, and some outpatient appointments were cancelled.

The fire service declared the incident over at about 16:35 BST. No-one was hurt, the hospital said.

Cathy Stone, director of nursing and patient safety at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Services are back to normal, although regrettably some of our outpatients were affected today - we will contact everyone involved to rearrange those appointments at the earliest opportunity.

"Whilst the public would have seen a great deal of activity from the emergency services, the majority of our hospital services were unaffected."

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