Decontamination team respond to incident at Doncaster hospital, amid witness claims of 'explosion'

A decontamination team have responded to an incident at a Doncaster hospital, amid claims from an eye-witness that an 'explosion' was heard just outside its accident and emergency department.

Thursday, 17th November 2016, 11:42 am
Updated Friday, 18th November 2016, 11:22 am
The incident is believed to have taken place at Doncaster Royal Infirmary's accident and emergency departmentbetween 1am and 2am this morning.

The incident is believed to have taken place at Doncaster Royal Infirmary's accident and emergency department between 1am and 2am this morning.

A spokesman for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals Trust said that a decontimination team, which includes police officers and firefighters, were sent to the hospital after two men arrived at the hospital at around 2am claiming 'unknown chemicals' had been thrown at them.

He said: "The men said they had chemicals thrown at them in a car when they were off-site.

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"Because the type of chemicals thrown at them was not known at that point, normal decontamination procedures had to be followed which included calling emergency services to the site.

"The two men would have been decontaminated in a tent located outside the hospital, and staff would have put on special suits - which would have looked like hazmat suits.

"The car the men arrived in, and where the chemicals were thrown at them, would also have to have been decontaminated.

"The primary doors to the department were closed and the secondary doors in outpatients were used for a short time while the decontamination process was carried out.

"The chemicals used in the attack were found to be ammonia. The men were treated and discharged, and the incident is now with the police.

"Members of the public would have been told that there was a chemical incident.

"A&E remained open throughout the contamination process, and remains open today."

But James Milne, 18, who visited the A&E department with his unwell girlfriend Hayley Wilde, 23, last night describes hearing an 'explosion' just outside A&E at around 1am.

James, of Intake, said: "I heard this big explosion and all the staff and patients in A&E went to have a look at what had happened but security said they weren't allowed to until they found out what had happened.

"A&E was cordoned off and we weren't allowed outside for ages. Later staff said there had been a chemical explosion outside.

"Two sections of the car park were cordoned off for ages after it had happened.

"My girlfriend's in there with suspected meningitis and it's worrying because they haven't really explained what the chemical explosion was caused by."

The spokesman for DBH said no reports of an explosion within the hospital grounds have been received.

Both South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have been contacted for more information.