London Aquatic Centre evacuated as gas leak sends 29 to hospital

A further 48 patients were helped at the scene

A “major incident” has been declared after a gas leak in East London force police to evacuate a venue used for the 2012 Olympic Games.

London Ambulance Service took 29 people to hospital after a leak of chlorine gas at the Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in Stratford.

The city fire service said a “high quantity of chlorine gas” was released inside the centre in a “chemical reaction”.

The area was evacuated and cordoned off.

“Update Aquatic Centre in #Stratford. Due to a chemical reaction a high quantity of chlorine gas was released inside the centre,” London fire brigade tweeted.

“While we ventilate the premises we would ask those residents in the immediate vicinity to close their doors and windows.”

The city’s ambulance service was at the scene treating casualties.

“We sent a significant number of resources including 13 ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, two medics in fast-response cars, two incident response officers, a medical incident adviser and members of our hazardous area response team,” said Darren Farmer, of London Ambulance Service.

“We also dispatched medics from London’s Air Ambulance.

“Our crews took 29 patients to hospital and assessed a further 48 patients at the scene. The majority of patients were reporting minor breathing difficulties.”

Firefighters outside the Aquatics Centre in east London after a gas leak. PA

Police were at the scene after what the force called a “leak of noxious fumes”.

In a statement, the force said: “A number of people have been evacuated from the premises.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I remain in close contact with our emergency services who are dealing with a gas-related incident at the London Aquatics Centre this morning.”

The UK capital’s ambulance service said it was responding to a “major incident” alongside firefighters and police.

Administrators at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park said they did not know how many people were at the pool at the time.

Updated: March 23, 2022, 5:35 PM