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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 13:31 GMT
Tyneside chemical alert over
The incident happened early on 30 January
Six fire crews attended the incident in North Shields
Police have given the all-clear after chemicals overheated at a solvent recycling plant on North Tyneside, releasing a cloud of toxic vapour.

The alarm was raised at the Distillex plant in East Percy Street, North Shields, at 0630 on Wednesday.

Local people were advised to close windows and stay indoors for two-and-a-half hours while the incident was dealt with by emergency services.

Six pumps from Tyne and Wear fire brigade were sent to the scene and Metro services between Tynemouth and North Shields were suspended.

Chemical tank

Officers from Northumbria Police were urging people to close their windows and remain in their homes.

A spokesman for the Distillex plant in North Shields confirmed there had been a release of vapour from a tank containing 200 litres of chemicals.

People were told not to venture outside
Roads closed to traffic during the chemical alert
The type of chemical involved has not been revealed. No-one was injured in the incident.

Police closed Tynemouth Road and several other roads in the area.

The cordon was lifted after the all-clear was given at 0900.

Police said anyone who had inhaled the vapour to seek medical advice.

Each year Distillex, which has sites in North Tyneside and Leyland, Lancashire, recycles 10,000 tonnes of waste solvent as well as 1,000 tonnes of other chemical wastes from manufacturing industry and laboratories.

It also holds stocks of solvent for dispatch to customers at its two sites.

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