Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Ward Closed after Staff Struck Down with Mystery Symptoms ; Children's Department Evacuated as Pepper Spray Found in Air Conditioning

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Ward Closed after Staff Struck Down with Mystery Symptoms ; Children's Department Evacuated as Pepper Spray Found in Air Conditioning

Article excerpt

A HOSPITAL'S children's ward was closed after staff mysteriously began falling ill.

The children's A&E department at Stepping Hill, in Stockport, was closed for several hours late on Saturday afternoon after staff began suffering from sore throats.

Fire crews were scrambled to the hospital - including a hazardous materials team - as a precaution after the alarm was raised at around 4.20pm.

Part of the children's department was evacuated and cordoned off as the incident unfolded.

Specialist firefighters carried out tests and discovered relatives of a youngster being treated in the ward had brought in a sample of pepper spray which had caused an eye irritation.

The spray ended up getting into the hospital's air conditioning system, and was breathed in by staff as it spread through the halls. …

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