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Boots of Newbury evacuated after possible gas leak



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Staff and customers had to leave the store at lunchtime following reports of a chemical or gas smell

THE Boots store in Northbrook Street, Newbury, had to be evacuated at lunchtime today (Monday) following reports of a possible gas or chemical leak inside the building.

Staff and customers were asked to leave the store at about 12.45pm after the smell was noticed and people reported getting headaches.

The store was still closed at 2.30pm this afternoon and members of staff were standing around outside waiting to be allowed in to collect their personal belongings, while firefighters and police officers attended to the scene.

Three fire engines, including one from Reading, were attended the scene, along with two ambulances and a police car.

A member of staff, Claire Turner, told Newburytoday.co.uk: "We don't know if it was a leak, but there was a smell and people started getting headaches, apparently. It started at 12.45pm and we evacuated the building after someone set the fire alarm off."

Update: 3.45pm – The police have confirmed that there were reports of a smell of chemicals or gas inside the store and that the store was evacuated.

The cordon was still in place at 3.40pm β€œto ensure public safety.”

Update: 4.15pm - The ambulance service has confirmed that they were called out at 1.39pm. Six people were treated for slight headaches, but no-one was conveyed to hospital.

Update: 5.35pm - Fire watch manager, Peter Atkins confirms that the road and store has been re-opened. He said that the cause of the evacuation was a solvent used by roofers near the air condition units.



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