British beach evacuated after 'chlorine cloud' burns people's eyes

Beachy Head evacuated after 'chemical mist' leaves walkers in tears

People described a ‘weird mist’ in the air

A mysterious "haze" that is causing breathing problems and affecting people's eyes and noses is moving miles away from where it first appeared.

Kyle Crickmore, who was at the Birling Gap beach with his family, said it emptied in 10 minutes after people began to feel unwell.

Dan Sankey wrote on Twitter: "Beautiful afternoon at Birling Gap cut short by some weird mist, burning everyone's eyes which led to the beach and cliff being evacuated".

They say it's reported from Birling Gap to Bexhill and towards Hastings and East Sussex.

The RNLI launched all-weather lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven to the Birling Gap area after fears from the coastguard that people could be trapped on the beach.

The beachfront is popular with dog walkers and is a busy spot for tourists and locals enjoying the bank holiday sunshine.

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Sussex police urged people to keep doors and windows shut in the affected area, between the resort town of Eastbourne and Birling Gap, a few miles along the coast.

Emergency services were called just before 5pm today to Birling Gap, where up to 50 people have been affected by what is suspected to be chlorine.

The situation would continue to be monitored, they said, "but it is believed that this was an isolated incident and is not expected to recur".

A police spokesman said: "With the assistance of HM Coastguard and the RNLI, emergency services personnel were able to collect the vehicle where the driver was sadly found to be deceased".

He said a "plume" had drifted across the area bringing "some sort of substance" with it which seemed to affect a number of people.

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