Wiltshire

Asbestos found in Stonehenge topsoil 'posed no risk to public'

Stonehenge Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption English Heritage said topsoil laid by contractors "did not meet the standards required" and was removed

Asbestos found in topsoil at Stonehenge posed no risk to the public, English Heritage has said.

The Sunday People newspaper claimed the substance was accidentally dumped at the site by contractors returning a section of the A344 back to grassland.

English Heritage said topsoil laid by the contractors "did not meet the standards required" and was removed.

A spokesman said "traces" of asbestos were detected in the topsoil which presented no public safety issue.

"As guardians of this unique historic site, English Heritage took this issue very seriously, and were very disappointed that the contractors failed to provide the specified topsoil," he said.

The asbestos was present at the World Heritage site for "a matter of days", for which the contractors accepted responsibility and "were quick to resolve the issue."

The removal work was carried out over a couple of nights to minimise disruption to visitors, he added.

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