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Gravesenders told: "Stay indoors" after cloud of noxious gas released

PUBLISHED: 12:33 18 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:33 18 April 2015

Gravesend pier

Gravesend pier

Archant

Accident happened during repairs off the pier

PEOPLE in Gravesend were told to stay indoors yesterday after a cloud of irritant gas was accidentally released on the pier.

Roads were closed and a rotten smell pervaded part of the town after the noxious substance was generated by contractors carrying out repairs to a pontoon.

Fire crews said the gas could cause breathing problems and irritate the eyes, but was only likely to affect people who were already susceptible because of a medical condition.

However, people living nearby were told to shut their doors and windows for the rest of the day and drivers were advised to avoid the area.

Around 15 firefighters were called to the pier in West Street just after 4.45pm, along with police, and stayed for a good four hours.

The gas resulted from the use of a substance called MDI isoscyanate.

The roads have now been reopened and people can go out again, although a chemical smell is expected to remain in the air for several days, which fire crews say is not harmful.

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