Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


West Thurrock chemical leak: 24 hours on

At 4.20pm on Monday 6 January 2020 control operators received reports of a cloud of fumes in West Thurrock, following a reaction involving an industrial cylinder.

This complicated incident saw a multi-agency approach with Essex Police, East of England Ambulance Service, Public Health England, Thurrock Council and the Environment Agency working together to manage and resolve the incident.

A 100 metre exclusion zone was set up, as is standard for incidents of this type, schools were closed for a day as a precautionary measure and the public was given medical advice for anyone suffering from minor symptoms.

Twenty four hours on the following update has been released.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has been working with a health, safety and environment expertise agency who have assessed the air quality at the site of the chemical leak in Thurrock.

The agency has monitored the air quality across the site, including directly next to the chemical leak, and all the readings have shown that it is well within safe levels.

It has therefore been determined that there is no risk to public health.

The Environmental Agency has also been working at the scene. A spokesperson said: “Our air quality team has been working alongside Public Health England to assess the air quality impact of the chemical leak on the general public.

“We have undertaken off-site air quality monitoring in the vicinity of the site, but following liaison with Public Health England, there are no current plans to continue this.

“As this is a regulated site, we will be supporting an investigation with Health and Safety Executive into the causes of this incident.”

A Public Health England spokesperson said: “Public Health England is content that the air quality monitoring today by the Environment Agency shows that the readings are normal, which means that the risk to public health is low.”

Thurrock Council has also confirmed that all schools will be open as normal tomorrow (Wednesday 8 January).

Oliver Road and Stoneness Road will be re-opening shortly.

As part of normal procedures, ECFRS will continue to monitor the site over the coming days.

You can read the full incident details, as well as all updates and statements on our incident log by clicking here. 

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