FIREFIGHTERS spent three hours at Bassetlaw Hospital this morning (Sunday) dealing with a suspected chemical leak.
On arrival, at 8.30am, crews discovered a strong smell which they thought was chemical.
Crews from Worksop, Retford and a special incident unit from Stockhill in Nottingham sealed off the area and evacuated part of the hospital, near the doctors’ residence.
“We initially instigated an emergency procedure which involved five fire engines attending and cordoning off the area,” said watch manager Ian Cooper from Worksop Fire Station.
“There was a strong burning smell coming from a plant room which we thought to be chemical.”
“Fortunately, once we narrowed down where the smell was coming from we were able to rule out a serious chemical incident.”
The cause turned out to be a water pump which had over heated in a water purification plant, involving bleaching agent sodium hypochlorite.
The plant is around 300 yards away from the hospital buildings. No patients were evacuated.
Watch manager Cooper said the incident was still very serious, because the hospital’s water supply was turned off for around three hours.
He added: “They had to use the emergency water supply, which only really contains about an hour’s worth.”
Fire crews consulted with hospital engineers and left the scene at around 11.30am.