‘Chemical leak’ closes busy road

Firefighters at the scene of a suspected chemical leak in Northgate Street, Bury.
Firefighters at the scene of a suspected chemical leak in Northgate Street, Bury.
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A BUSY town centre road was closed on Friday following fears of a chemical leak in a disused building.

Fire crews and specialist hazardous materials engines were scrambled after reports of an unknown substance in a building in Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, just before 8pm.

Suffolk Police were initially called to the building after a member of public reported suspicious activity and a possible burglary at the site after seeing youngsters running from the building and hearing an alarm sounding.

Two police officers went to investigate and found smoke coming from the basement but could see no fire.

The fire service was called in to investigate after the officers feared a possible chemical leak.

One fire engine, three hazardous material engines and a control support unit were called in.

Northgate Street was cordoned off at both ends, chemical decontamination was set up and the police officers were assessed by the ambulance service for possible contamination.

Fire crews found that the smoke was caused by a dry powder extinguisher which had been discharged.

The building, which was boarded up, had no natural ventilation.