Kent Messenger Maidstone

Centre evacuated after leak scare

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Two children and two adults were taken to hospital after a chlorine leak at a sports centre.

Strood Sports Centre, off Watling Street, Strood, was evacuated after reports of high levels of chlorine in the swimming pool.

Fire crews were alerted just after 3.30pm on Monday.

An eyewitness said there were eight emergency vehicles, including fire engines, ambulances and an incident response team.

Four patients were taken to Medway Maritime Hospital by ambulance.

A South East Coast Ambulance spokesman said: “It was a precaution­ary measure and none of the patients were in a serious condition.

“People were complainin­g of being short of breath.”

Fire crews isolated what they believed was the source of the leak and the sports centre re-opened just before 6pm.

The teaching swimming pool stayed closed for further testing.

Heru Asesimba was in the sauna when the centre was evacuated.

He said: “There was a suspected gas leak that was later confirmed as a chlorine overload of the pool.

“Myself and other centre users were evacuated into the car park for our safety.

“There were at least eight emergency vehicles outside and a few children were taken to hospital.

“I’m ok, however, I’ll be visiting a GP or hospital to ensure my breathing has not been affected.”

Carrie McKenzie, assistant director of transforma­tion at Medway Council, said the centre was temporaril­y closed as a precaution­ary measure before firefighte­rs checked the site was safe to reopen.

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