London Aquatics Centre: Dozens taken to hospital after gas release incident - with babies and toddlers treated

Swimmers at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park pool in Stratford, east London, fled the area after chlorine gas was released into the building when a delivery of chemicals was received.

Paramedics have treated almost 80 people after a “gas release” saw the London Aquatics Centre evacuated in a major incident.

Swimmers at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park pool in Stratford, east London, fled the area after chlorine gas was released into the building when a delivery of chemicals was received.

Those affected included a number of babies and toddlers.

A total of 29 people have been taken to hospital by paramedics, while a further 48 were treated at the scene, a London Ambulance Service (LAS) spokesperson said.

People being treated by paramedics outside the London Aquatics Centre. Credit: SWNS

The incident took place earlier this morning (Wednesday, March 23) and was attended to by firefighters, police and medics.

Gold commander Darren Farmer said: ““This morning we responded to a major incident at the London Aquatic Centre alongside colleagues from London Fire Brigade and Met Police.

“We sent a significant number of resources including 13 ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, two medics in fast response cars, two incident response officers, a medical incident advisor and members of our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).

“We also dispatched medics from London’s Air Ambulance.

Emergency services near the Aquatics Centre, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London

“Our crews took 29 patients to hospital and assessed a further 48 patients at the scene. The majority of patients were reporting minor breathing difficulties.

“Thank you to all our teams who responded today, both at the scene and in our control room, and to our firefighter and police colleagues.”

In a tweet posted at 3.09pm, a spokesperson said: “Our teams at the Aquatics Centre have been stood down after taking 29 patients to hospital.

“Our Gold Commander Darren Farmer has thanked all our crews, call handlers and the London Fire Brigade and Met Police colleagues who responded.”

Earlier today, the London Aquatics Centre, which is part of the Olympic Park, and owned by Greenwich Leisure Limited, said: “At approximately 10am this morning we took the decision to evacuate the London Aquatics Centre.

“This was due to a release of gas that occurred when the facilities management company that operates the plant room took delivery of pool chemicals.

“We are awaiting guidance on when the Centre will be able to reopen.”

The pool is described as “the home of aquatics events” during the London 2012 Olympics, “the iconic pool of champions’ and “a world-class facility now open to the public”.

The swimming pool is operated by management company Better UK.

In a tweet, a spokesperson for the Centre said: “If you had a booking at London Aquatics Centre for today or tomorrow, your booking has been cancelled and your account will automatically be credited.

“Thank you for your understanding.”