LATEST: Alert over mystery substance at Doncaster hospital believed to be 'false alarm'

The emergency department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary
The emergency department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

An alert over a mystery substance at a hospital in Doncaster is believed to have been a false alarm.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said three people had turned up at Doncaster Royal Infirmary this afternoon after coming into contact with an unknown substance.

He said a decontamination crew was sent to the site but no chemical residue had been found on any of the three people who had been taken to the A&E department.

One witness had reported hearing a car window smash, followed by loud screams in the hospital car park at around 1.20pm, and onlookers initially feared they were witnessing an acid attack.

The witness, who asked not to be named, said she saw two people being taken into the hospital, and armed police and the fire brigade had sealed off the area, where she said there had been a 'funny smell'.

"It all happened really fast. I heard a car window smash and heard a lot of loud screams," said one woman who witnessed the car arrive at the hospital but asked not to be named.

"There was a funny smell for a while and it all people kept saying was that two people were injured because acid was poured all over them and was spilled all over the car park.

"The two victims were rushed straight into A&E and the fire brigade were almost straight on scene followed by the police."

It is understood the incident happened away from the hospital and the patients were driven there, with the commotion in the car park due to their haste to get out of the car.

David Purdue, chief operating officer at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are currently caring for patients who have presented to Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s Emergency Department following an incident with an unknown substance.

"As a precautionary measure we are working with our partners at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to follow correct decontamination procedures to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and staff."

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said it was called to Doncaster Royal Infirmary at about 1.45pm to reports of people coming into contact with an unknown substance.

"We sent a crew with decontamination equipment but they found no chemical residue on the three people who presented themselves at the hospital. It appears to have been a false alarm," he added.

South Yorkshire Police have been contacted, and we will bring you more details as we get them.