Westminster Lodge reopens following chemical leak in St Albans

Fire engines outside Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans.

Fire engines outside Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans. - Credit: Donna Myerthall

Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans reopened last night after a chemical leak which left two men in hospital.

It was forced shut after the incident yesterday (February 22) and the leak is said to have occurred in the swimming pool. 

Police, fire and ambulance services attended the scene and the public were evacuated from the area and nearby roads were closed off.  

Access to St Albans Abbey station was also blocked, despite trains still running. 

A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “We were called to Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in Holywell Hill in St Albans just before 3pm today following reports of a chemical spill. 

Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans was evacuated after a chemical spill.

Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans was evacuated after a chemical spill. - Credit: Pearce Bates / Archant 2022

"Two ambulances, two vehicles from the Hazardous Area Response Team and a rapid response vehicle attended the scene. 

"Two adult men who had minimal exposure were transported to Watford General Hospital for further assessment and observation.” 

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A spokesperson for the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We have four fire engines in attendance at an incident at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans.  

“Firefighters are assisting with an incident involving a chemical leak.” 

Footage shows emergency workers in suits entering the leisure centre.

Footage shows emergency workers in suits entering the leisure centre. - Credit: Miriam Iuga

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Police added: "We were alerted to a chemical leak, believed to be chlorine gas, at Westminster Lodge, St Albans, at around 2.40pm. 

“Police and Fire attended and the building was evacuated. Two people were affected by the chemicals and paramedics were called. 

"Road closure on Hollybush Lane was put in place and some surrounding buildings cordoned off as a precaution."

Steve Cox, contract manager for Everyone Active, who run the centre, said: "Westminster Lodge was evacuated yesterday afternoon due to an incident at the centre. The team responded immediately and the emergency services were called as a precautionary measure. Two colleagues were taken to hospital for routine checks but didn’t require any medical attention and are now back home and well.

“We’re pleased to confirm that Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre has now reopened and we would like to assure everyone that the centre is safe to visit. Our spa remains closed at present but we will notify customers as soon as we have an update. All other activities will resume as normal.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers and thank them for their patience.”