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Pupils flee school in chemical alert; Five people treated after leak.

Byline: By LUKE TRAYNOR

PUPILS were evacuated from their school after a dangerous chemical spill at the site's swimming pool.

Emergency services rushed to The Elms special school in Stock-bridge Village at 12.30pm yesterday, following reports from the headteacher about the scare.

Three fire crews and the hazardous material unit were called to the Whitethorne Drive site, which is attended by children with severe learning difficulties.

The school's 110 pupils were evacuated from their classrooms as the chemical spillage was tackled.

The spill occurred in the pumping room of the swimming pool, where chlorine leaked on to the floor.

Four female members of kitchen staff were treated by paramedics after complaining about mild skin irritation. A 50-year-old man was given treatment after breathing in fumes.

Firefighters attended the scene wearing boiler suits to protect them against any possible dangerous fumes.

There are 110 pupils at the school, aged 3-19. Some were checked by paramedics before they were collected by their parents.

Officers from Merseyside police arrived at the scene and helped to manage the evacuation.

The school has sent out a letter to parents informing them about the incident and the school was expected to be open today.

The area around the swimming pool was sealed off to allow hazardous material experts to clear away the leaked chemical.

No children were in or around the swimming pool at the time the spill was discovered by the school caretaker.

A Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said the chemical had leaked on to the floor and reacted with moisture to create a "gassing off" effect.

A spokeswoman for Knowsley Council said: "We alerted the emergency services and took advice from them about the best course of action.

"The school was evacuated section by section and children were checked to make sure they had no symptoms."

luketraynor@liverpoolecho.co.uk

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EMERGENCY: Fire crews in special suits oversee the clean-up
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 5, 2007
Words:320
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