Beach popular with Londoners hit with chemical haze


A insoluble chemical haze that left scores of people on the English littoral with streaming eyes, sore throats and breathing problems has sowed, but its cause remains a mystery, police and emergency services said Monday.

The gas cloud surfaced Sunday, sending people fleeing from the beach and cliffs at Birling Gap, a coastal handsomeness spot about 100 kilometres south of London.

Life small crafts were dispatched to help clear people from beaches, and Eastbourne Section General Hospital said it had treated more than 130 individual. Sussex Police said the injuries were mostly minor.

“Whatever it was, it hummed like burnt plastic,” said Bob Jefferey of the Royal National Lifeboat Habit’s Eastbourne division. “It hung about and didn’t move yesterday because there was no become aware of. The cloud seems to have dispersed today, though.”

Unpleasant indefiniteness

Pollution has been known to drift to Britain from industrial sections in France, but police said wind direction made that unpromising in this case.

“Neither the gas nor its source have been established, but intercessions are continuing to investigate and have not ruled out either on-shore or off-shore fingers ons,” Sussex Police said in a statement.

Meteorological Office weather forecaster Jay Merrell conveyed a vessel in the English Channel may have been responsible, but stressed nothing conclusive had been supported yet.

Toxicologist John Hopkins said the haze might have been photochemical smog cased by sunshine reacting with vehicle pollution.

“It’s just a function of we’ve got too much above on the roads and too much sunshine,” he told Sky News.

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