06 Dec 2012
Toxic gas leaked from a ship docked at a harbour in Northern Ireland leaving 18 people needing hospital treatment.
The vessel, docked at Warrenpoint in County Down, was carrying a cargo of grain, as well as pellets of aluminium phosphide, a pesticide used to kill rodents and small mammals such as moles.
However, the pellets had become wet and unstable, releasing a potentially deadly gas which forced police to erect a 50 metre cordon around the ship.
Police in Northern Ireland have informed their counterparts in the Irish Republic that the toxic chemical could potentially drift into their territory.
“We have 18 patients. It is a chemical incident on a ship. Nine are en route to Daisy Hill Hospital and nine are at the scene and they will be transferred to Craigavon Area Hospital,” a Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesman said.
A number of local residents were evacuated over the incident, but they have now been given the green light to return home.
Copyright Press Association 2012