‘Hazardous material’ alert sparked by office carpet cleaning operation

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Sovereign Housing Association
Fire, police and ambulance teams were sent to the Sovereign Housing Association building in Grange Road in Somerford

EMERGENCY services were scrambled to a “hazardous materials” alert as 11 people required treatment after suffering breathing difficulties from a carpet cleaning operation.

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Fire, police and ambulance services responded to a call just before 9.30am today (Monday) at a Sovereign Housing Association (SHA) office building in Grange Road in Somerford, Christchurch.

Members of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service were among the first on the scene where a number of people were feeling ill.

Two crews from Christchurch fire station were dispatched to investigate the problem and ended up ventilating a property.

The 11 casualties were left in the care of the ambulance service.

A spokeswoman for South Western Ambulance Service said a number of people were “sick and dizzy” and it sent a “number of resources to the scene”.

He added: “Four ambulances and a senior paramedic treated 11 patients with minor injuries. Nobody was taken to hospital.”

Dorset Police also attended, a spokesman for the force confirmed.

SHA head of customer contact Paula Dawson said: “Unfortunately some of our contact team were affected by fumes following a carpet clean over the weekend.

“The symptoms were minor – for example, some dizziness and sore eyes.

“But everyone has been seen by paramedics as a precaution and they’ve been released home for the day.

“It only affected a small part of the building, which we’ve closed for the rest of the day.

“But we expect the office to be open and services return to normal tomorrow morning.”

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