Sainsbury's shoppers collapse with 'breathing difficulties' as people evacuated

The supermarket near Birmingham has been evacuated

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Several people are being treated for breathing problems after a “hazardous substances incident” at a Sainsbury’s store in the West Midlands.

Emergency services were called to the supermarket in Longbridge, near Birmingham, just before 10am on Friday after people in the store began suffering respiratory problems.

150 customers and staff were evacuated from the store, while people were also being cleared from the surrounding area.

Emergency services originally said six people were being treated by paramedics, with that number having now risen to seven.

Two people have been taken to hospital.

Sainsbury's, Longbridge Lane
Sainsbury's, Longbridge Lane

A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “Sainsbury's and other nearby buildings were evacuated after several people inside the supermarket experienced respiratory problems.

“A total of seven patients were assessed by the ambulance service after displaying minor respiratory problems.

“Two women received treatment on scene before being conveyed by ambulance, in a stable condition, to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further checks.

“The remaining five patients were later discharged on scene.

“A number of other people at the scene, who were described as ‘worried but well’, received advice from the team of ambulance staff.”

West Midlands Police earlier said: "We are currently dealing with an incident at Sainsbury's in Longbridge Lane, Longbridge.

"We were alerted at about 10am to reports that six people were suffering breathing problems.

"Officers attended and the store has been evacuated and people are also being cleared from other buildings in the area.

"The six patients are being treated by paramedics at the scene."

The fire service said 150 people were evacuated from the supermarket.

West Midlands Fire Service said: “Two people who were in the store have been taken to hospital.

“Our specialist officers are using air monitoring equipment inside the store to try and establish the cause of the incident.

“We are working closely with the store management, as well as our ambulance and police colleagues and Birmingham City Council. Around 150 people were evacuated from the store.

“A nearby college building was not evacuated, but advised to keep windows closed as a precaution.”