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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 10:14 GMT
Asbestos alert closes city school
Hundreds of children may have breathed in dangerous asbestos dust at a Derby school.

Silverhill Primary in Mickleover will be closed for at least two weeks for specialist cleaning.

High levels of asbestos has been found in the atmosphere following work to replace windows.

The school and the city council say they are working with health services and a helpline and a drop in centre has been set up for worried parents.

Tests conducted

High levels of asbestos fibres have been found in the atmosphere of the lower junior wing of the school which has 400 pupils and 30 staff.

The school has been closed while an investigation is carried out to find out how the particles came to be released into the atmosphere.

Simon Longley , assistant director of education said: "As soon as we suspected there may be asbestos fibres contaminating the school, we acted as quickly as possible.

"Tests carried out over the weekend confirmed our suspicions and the school was immediately closed.

"Since then we have been working towards getting the school open as soon as possible by making it safe for pupils and staff."

The affected area includes three classrooms and a work area.

Lower levels of asbestos fibres were detected in some other places in the building.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed of the incident.

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