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Mystery smell from heating system reason for hospital evacuation

PUBLISHED: 14:37 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 10 October 2018

James Paget Universtity Hospital was evacuated. Picture: Marc Betts

James Paget Universtity Hospital was evacuated. Picture: Marc Betts

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Patients at James Paget University Hospital have been allowed to return to their ward after a suspected gas leak forced them to be evacuated.

James Paget Universtity Hospital was evacuated. Picture: Marc BettsJames Paget Universtity Hospital was evacuated. Picture: Marc Betts

Police and five crews from Norfolk Fire and Rescue, three from Great Yarmouth and two from Gorleston were called to the hospital in Gorleston at 10.40am.

Emergency services were alerted to the suspected gas leak after staff and patients noticed an unusual “unknown” smell in the main building.

As a precaution 20 patients were evacuated from the affected area.

A hospital spokesman said: “A multi-agency approach was taken to investigate an unknown smell identified at the hospital with fire, police ambulance and hospital teams working together to identify the cause.

James Paget Universtity Hospital was evacuated. Picture: Marc BettsJames Paget Universtity Hospital was evacuated. Picture: Marc Betts

“Quick and efficient action led to a phased evacuation of the affected area by hospital staff as a precautionary measure in with standard procedures.

“Specialist equipment utilised by the Fire and Rescue Service was used to identify the smell which was associated with the heating system.

“No-one was harmed by this incident with the hospital now back to normal working.”

Fire services were on the scene investigating until 12.30pm when the hospital was pronounced safe.

James Paget Universtity Hospital was evacuated. Picture: Marc BettsJames Paget Universtity Hospital was evacuated. Picture: Marc Betts

Graham Wilde, chief operating officer at the hospital, said: “As a precautionary measure patients were horizontally evacuated [moved to another ward on the same floor] to a place of safety whilst the estates team and the Fire Brigade investigated.

“The fire alarm sounded to restrict access around the site. All areas are now open with the exception of the affected ward and corridors.”

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