Worthing: Hazardous material 'could have come from ship'

Police at Worthing seafront Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption People were told to leave the beach at Worthing

Hazardous material that led to the evacuation of a seaside resort could have come from a nearby boat, investigators have said.

A two-mile cordon was put in place on Worthing seafront at about 11:20 BST on Sunday.

People reported having sore eyes and two were taken to hospital.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "The MCA is investigating if the source could have been from a vessel."

People were urged to stay away from the area and shut windows and doors.

Image copyright EDDIE MITCHELL
Image caption Sussex Police at Worthing seafront on Sunday

Sussex Police, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, South East Ambulance Service and Shoreham Coastguard Rescue Team all attended.

The MCA spokeswoman added: "The MCA is also looking at weather patterns and vessel movements to establish if there were any vessels in the area that were capable of carrying a gas or could have cargo tanks (carrying solid or liquid cargo) which could have been venting at the time."

Police carried out searches with a drone but they could not find out what had happened and ended their investigation.

In August 2017, about 150 people attended hospital reporting sore eyes and vomiting after a chemical haze drifted over Eastbourne.

An investigation concluded the gas cloud was likely to have come from the Channel.

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