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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 01:39 GMT 02:39 UK
'Unusual smell' closes A&E unit
Royal Free Hospital
The source of the smell has not yet been identified.
A major London hospital's accident and emergency unit was closed for six hours after eight members of staff fell ill.

The lower floors of the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London, were evacuated after workers noticed "an unusual smell" in the area.

Some of the workers received medical treatment, but it is not known what caused them to feel unwell.

Fire crews investigated but could find no cause of the smell and the A&E unit was reopened shortly after midnight.

A hospital statement said it had resumed all normal activities.

It read: "Eight members of staff earlier reported feeling unwell after experiencing an unusual smell and some of these have required medical treatment.

"The trust has been working closely with London Fire Brigade's scientific support unit but no cause has been established and the fire service has withdrawn.

"The A&E department was closed to ambulances for about six hours, but has now reopened."

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