CHEMICAL INCIDENT UPDATE: Powder ‘poisonous’ on contact and consumption

Medical incident. Photo by Eddie Mitchell
Medical incident. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

The chemical powder found at a flat in Horsham is ‘poisonous’ on contact and consumption, a fire service commander has said.

Emergency services were called to a flat in Mill Bay Lane, near Prewetts Mill, on Sunday (December 27) after a 76-year-old man came into contact with a mercuric iodide powder.

The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) were called to the incident and retrieved the man and two others from the flat. All three were taken to hospital.

Richard Davy, deputy district commander at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, was at the scene.

He said: “It (the chemical) is poisonous on contact and consumption. I don’t know what it does, all I know is it was a chemical in powder form.

“It was just the one flat affected. There wasn’t any risk to anyone else.

“The people in the flats next door locked their doors and opened their windows. There was no evacuation of the other properties.

“For our command unit it was just another incident. It is an unusual one. It is not something you would find in a domestic property.

“It was one of those where no-one else was in danger we just had to make sure everything was run in and checked first.”

He added the road was cordoned off to make it easier for crews to deal with the incident and there was no danger to the public.

Police said the incident is not being treated as suspicious and the area has since been re-opened.

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