Leisure centre evacuated after leak

EMERGENCY services were called to Great Yarmouth's Marina Centre on Wednesday morning after leaking chemicals caused sparked a safety alert.About 50 people, including staff and swimmers, were evacuated from the seafront site at about 8.

EMERGENCY services were called to Great Yarmouth's Marina Centre on Wednesday morning after leaking chemicals caused sparked a safety alert.

About 50 people, including staff and swimmers, were evacuated from the seafront site at about 8.30am after hydrochloric acid leaked from the swimming pool cleaning and filtration plant. Initially it was treated as a major incident, the centre and surrounding area was sealed off because firefighters feared fumes from the acid spill could make people nauseous.

Two firefighters wearing breathing masks went in to the plant to assess the leak and a specialist firm was then called in to clear up the hydrochloric acid. At the height of the chemical scare six fire engines, including crews from Martham, Acle and a specialist chemical unit, attended the incident and ambulances were on stand by in case people started to fall ill.

Senior firefighter Michael Hawkins said the evacuation was necessary because noxious fumes started spreading through the centre and outside to Marine Parade. He added that once the acid was removed windows at the centre were opened to help dissipate any remaining fumes and that there would be no long term effects to the centre.


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Centre manager Wayne Nixon said: “We take this type of emergency very seriously and I'm happy the way the staff dealt with the situation and followed their evacuation training. We do have set procedures in place for this type of situation and will ensure a full review is conducted to ensure this type of situation is not repeated.”

The Marina Centre was open again and back to normal by noon.

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