Probe launched after factory evacuation

Two men have been taken to hospital and 35 others treated by paramedics after fears they were left ill following crop spraying near the place they were working.

Workers at an industrial estate at Somersham factory in Cambridgeshire were left feeling nauseous, light headed and weak after the incident.

All staff at Phoenix Door Panels Limited in the West Newlands Industrial Estate were told to leave the site after several people were taken ill on Friday morning (14 October).

A spokesman for Huntingdonshire District Council said: “We received reports that members of staff [at Phoenix] were feeling nauseous, light headed and weak, and that staff could taste chemicals.”

“Because of the nature of calls being received, the service deployed a hazardous area response team, an ambulance and three operational managers to the incident.”

An ambulance spokesman said staff were treated at the scene, with two men taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

The NFU said it would be irresponsible to comment on the incident until all the facts behind it were established.

 “What we can say is that farmers are required to adhere to a number of safety regulations when spraying plant protection products to protect themselves and the public,” said NFU acting chief science advisor Andrea Graham.

“As a matter of course the NFU recommends that its member us these products responsibly and are signed up members of the Good Neighbour initiative, which means farmers inform neighbouring houses when crop spraying is about to take place.

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