THE FIRE service has confirmed the ‘chemical incident’ in Abingdon that left four people in hospital yesterday was caused by cleaning products.

Coxeter House in Ock Street was cordoned off after high levels of dangerous gases were identified in the area. 

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service described the gases as ‘toxic fumes’ and said a man fell unconscious after being exposed. 

High levels of carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide were detected by firefighters and a 100m cordon was put in place and the area was evacuated from around midday.

Restaurant Spice Valley revealed last night that the incident started in the curry house. 

A statement from the fire service said a workman who was cleaning the kitchen extract system at the restaurant passed out when exposed to gases produced from the industrial cleaning chemicals that he was using.

The man fell from the ladder that he was working on ‘overcome by the fumes’, injuring his head.

South Central Ambulance Service said four people in total were taken to hospital – two were working for a cleaning company at the time and the other two members of the public who had tried to help them. 

The building complex was evacuated as a precaution while testing was carried out.

Fire station manager Lee Swain warned: “Mixing cleaning products can generate deadly gases which can kill.

“People must always read labels to ensure that you comply with the manufacturers guidance in the use of all cleaning products, even those that you can buy in the supermarkets for use at home.”

Source: Erin Lyons, Oxford Mail