HUNDREDS of workers have had to be evacuated after a chemical leak at a Swedish laboratory.
Local Police in Stockholm have indicated that there is a risk of explosion, whilst several people have already been hospitalised after experiencing symptoms of gas poisoning.
Local media have reported that over 500 people were evacuated from a building near Karolinska Institute on Thursday May 12. The institute is one of the largest and most prestigious medical universities in the world. The university is located in the Stockholm urban area.
According to local media sources, other companies were also affected by the leak including the Royal Institute of Technology and several private companies.
It is thought that the leak started on the seventh floor of the building, in a laboratory area near the institute.
Police spokesperson Sven-Erik Olsson told a local newspaper: “There has been a discharge of gas. It is probably the chemical toluene. In concentrated form it constitutes a fire and explosion hazard.”
Many rescue services, police officers and ambulance staff were at the scene.
Police reported that “Three people have felt dizziness after the spill. Later, it was announced that another person has similar symptoms.”
A huge operation got underway with emergency teams entering the building to determine exactly what the leaked substance was.
There are reports that the leaked substance was toluene, which causes light-headedness, nausea, sleepiness, unconsciousness, and even death. However, this is yet to be confirmed.