Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 16:38 UK

Chemical incident closes Bullring

Police and fire engines
Police sealed off the Bullring shopping centre near to the open market

The Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham has been evacuated and closed for the rest of the day after staff reported a smell of fumes.

Ten people were taken to hospital with most complaining of feeling dizzy and nauseous. Thirty others had treatment.

Six security workers were treated for the effects of fumes shortly before 0400 BST. Later, more staff complained of fumes and the centre was closed.

The Bullring said it would reopen on Friday at 0930 BST.

A triage centre was set up away from the building to treat people.

Ambulance staff were first called to the centre at 0345 BST after security staff were thought to have breathed in fumes.

Five were taken to City Hospital at that stage for further assessment.

'Watery eyes'

"They were complaining of watery eyes, feeling nauseous and two of the staff had been sick," an ambulance spokesman said.

People waiting outside the Bullring
The centre was evacuated after staff reported a smell of fumes

Four of those five have since been discharged from hospital. Another person was treated at the scene after ambulance crews were first alerted.

Ambulance staff were called to the Bullring for a second time after reports two people were ill. A man was later taken to City Hospital.

A total of 33 other people went to the triage centre, of which 29 were discharged after treatment.

The other four went to Heartlands Hospital, including one who had a "cardiac condition", the ambulance service said.

A spokeswoman for the Bullring said the chemical fumes had come from the security control room in the basement of the complex.

The centre was closed to customers but some staff were able to remain in the building, she said.

About 50 firefighters were at the scene, West Midlands Fire Service said.



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