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More than 150 people evacuated and residential roads closed in Hornchurch after reports of ‘strong chemical smell’

PUBLISHED: 14:41 17 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:44 17 April 2018

Firefighters responding to the incident in Inskip Drive, Hornchurch. Photo: LFB

Firefighters responding to the incident in Inskip Drive, Hornchurch. Photo: LFB

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The London Fire Brigade have evacuated 150 people from a number of buildings in Hornchurch after a strong chemical smell was caused by chemicals falling off a shelf in an abandoned science lab.

Hornchurch High Street and Upminster Road have been closed by the fire brigade as part of their response to reports of a strong chemical smell in Inskip Drive. Photo: Hornchurch LifeHornchurch High Street and Upminster Road have been closed by the fire brigade as part of their response to reports of a strong chemical smell in Inskip Drive. Photo: Hornchurch Life

An LFB spokeswoman confirmed more than 20 firefighters from Dagenham and Hornchurch were called to Inskip Drive in Hornchurch at 1.29pm and quickly established a cordon and began evacuating people from nearby buildings.

Investigators have since confirmed the fumes were caused by a small quantity of chemicals that had fallen off a shelf in a disused science building on the site of the Robert Beard Youth Centre and Olive AP Academy.

Two fire rescue units from Bexley and Bethnal Green were also called.

A cordon is currently in place and firefighters remain on standby at the scene as they investigate the cause of the incident.

Inskip Drive, Hornchurch. Photo: Google MapsInskip Drive, Hornchurch. Photo: Google Maps

Upminster road, has now reopened.

The 150 evacuees have been moved to a nearby building for their safety. There have been no reports of any injuries.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed they were also called to the scene at 1.30pm but the incident remains in the hands of the London Fire Brigade.

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