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Fridge units not source of gas leak at shopping centre
INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the cause of a gas leak at a Hampshire shopping centre.
It comes after experts revealed that the cause of the leak was not as first thought.
Officials are still looking into what sparked the alert at the Sainsbury’s and Marks&Spencer store in Hedge End last week.
Sainsbury’s has now ruled out a leak coming from its refrigeration units – the cause given by the fire service.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the store in Tollbar Way shortly after 5pm on Tuesday, September 17.
Paramedics treated more than 60 people at the scene with one woman taken to hospital.
The alarm was raised after people at the check-outs in Sainsbury’s complained of not feeling well.
A total of 62 shoppers and staff fell ill with runny eyes, dry mouths and breathing problems.
Shoppers have described how some people collapsed to the floor after starting to cough. Casualties were wrapped in turquoise blankets as they waited for their turn in a decontamination tent.
Police cordoned off a 60-yard exclusion zone around the two stores as teams from the fire service’s hazardous materials unit went into the building.
A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “Our colleagues worked closely with the emergency services and acted as quickly as they could, completing a full evacuation of the store within 15 minutes.
“We are conducting a full investigation into what happened and, while this has ruled out a gas leak from the refrigeration system, we are continuing to look into other possibilities.”
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