Pool chlo­rine leak the re­sult of hu­man er­ror

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - An Author’s Life - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

A harm­ful chem­i­cal spillage that re­sulted in 200 peo­ple be­ing evac­u­ated from Ash­ford’s Stour Cen­tre was caused by hu­man er­ror.

Six peo­ple – four em­ploy­ees and two mem­bers of the public – needed hos­pi­tal treat­ment af­ter the leak on Wed­nes­day Au­gust 19 at the cen­tre in Tan­nery Lane.

They were taken to the Wil­liam Har­vey with watery eyes and itchy throats but were all re­leased that day.

Oth­ers were checked over by paramedics at the scene, and the cen­tre was cor­doned off for sev­eral hours while fire crews dealt with the spillage.

In to­tal, 200 mem­bers of staff and cus­tomers had to be evac­u­ated from the build­ing, with some wait­ing in the nearby coun­cil of­fices.

Now, af­ter an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Ash­ford Leisure Trust, which runs the Stour Cen­tre, the cause of the chlo­rine leak, which started in the spa plant room, has been iden­ti­fied.

A spokesman said: “A full in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been com­pleted, and we can con­firm the in­ci­dent was not caused by a tech­ni­cal or me­chan­i­cal fail­ure but due to hu­man er­ror.

“Ro­bust mea­sures have been put in place to en­sure this can­not oc­cur again.”

Last week, great-grand­mother Mrs Jan­ice Harris, 68, who was in the swimming pool with her friend Mar­garet Carter at the time of the leak, praised staff for the way they han­dled the evac­u­a­tion.

She said: “When the alarm went off, the life­guards were so good.

“They took us on to the green for a while, then we waited in the con­fer­ence room in the Civic Cen­tre un­til we were al­lowed back in.

“I have chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease, so I have breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, and it was just fan­tas­tic how they treated us so well.

“They gave us blan­kets, drinks and sand­wiches, and their treat­ment was so pro­fes­sional.”

Emma Wood, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Ash­ford Leisure Trust, said: “I would like to thank the emer­gency ser­vices for their prompt at­ten­dance and Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil for their sup­port in pro­vid­ing tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion for mem­bers of public.

“I would also like to thank our cus­tomers for their pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing, and apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience this may have caused.”

Pic­tures: Gary Browne/Paul Amos

Ash­ford Leisure Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Emma Wood and emer­gency ser­vices ve­hi­cles out­side the cen­tre fol­low­ing the chlo­rine scare

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.