Scottish chemical leak: 'Multiple casualties' after incident at St Andrews leisure centre

Emergency services have said there are 'no fatalities' but 16 people are being treated for 'breathing difficulties'

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The Independent Online

As many as 16 people have been injured after a chemical leak at a Scottish leisure centre.

Emergency services were called to the East Sands Leisure Centre, St Andrews, after the incident at around 1pm on Tuesday.

The Scottish Ambulance Service told The Independent there were "multiple casualties" but that there had not been any fatalities. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) confirmed that 16 people were being treated for "minor breathing irritation".

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said crews were called at 1.08pm over a "possible chemical leak" with a special response team attending alongside a number of ambulances within seven minutes.

The leak is believed to be sodium hypochlorite, commonly dissolved in water and used as a swimming pool disinfectant or bleaching agent.

There are 13 fire appliances, including six fire engines with 55 fire fighters, at the scene in Fife, northern Scotland. Images on social media show fire fighters entering the building wearing hazmat suits.

A spokesperson for the SFRS said crews were attending a "major incident" involving a "chemical leak" at the leisure centre.

"SFRS committed three breathing apparatus teams in gas-tight suits to isolate the power in the plant room and search the building," a statement given to The Independent read. "There are currently 13 SFRS appliances in attendance including five pumping appliances, a control unit, an emergency support unit and a hazardous materials appliance."

According to the Fife centre's summer swimming pool timetable, the water was in use for "lane swimming" in the hour preceding the emergency call.

The centre, which includes a swimming pool and a gym, has now been evacuated. Everyone within the building, owned by Fife Council but run by Fife Sport and Leisure Trust, has now been accounted for, Fife Today reported.

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