Two hospitalised after Rhodia’s toxic gas cloud

A fire at a Rhodia chemical works near Birmingham on 2 January released a cloud of poisonous gas that drifted across an urban area. Emergency services were put on alert as roads were closed and the public warned to stay indoors.

A fire at Rhodia Consumer Specialities’ chemical works in Oldbury produced a cloud of toxic gas over parts of the West Midlands on 2 January. Although the fire was brought under control by the fire services within a couple of hours, the cloud forced the closure of local roads and caused health effects in four people. Two Highways Agency officers were taken to hospital.

The Environment Agency said that about 25 kilograms of phosphine was

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