Islanders in poison scare

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The Independent Online
A military bomb disposal team has been sent to the Outer Hebridean island of Barra to examine a canister washed up on the beach only days after a mystery illness struck eight people on the island.

Islanders are concerned there may be a link between the "flu type" sickness and the 145,000 tons of germ warfare chemicals dumped in deep water off the Hebrides after the Second World War. Barra councillor, Captain Roddy Mackinnon last night appealed to the Ministry of Defence not to destroy the canister before analysing its contents. The MoD has been dismissive of suggestions that the dumped chemicals could be the cause of the illness, but there are suspicions on the island that the canister could be destroyed to eliminate any evidence.