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A&E evacuated due to weed killer

A hospital was forced to evacuate a busy accident and emergency department over a bottle of weed killer.

Fire crews were called to University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke-on-Trent just before 7pm yesterday after a child was brought in suffering from an eye irritation.

Staff called the fire service as a precaution to identify the substance affecting the child and to ensure no hazardous material had been brought into the hospital.

Firefighters, who evacuated the department as a precaution, later identified the source of the irritation to be a domestic weed killer.

Simon Craythorne, station manager with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service, said the parent of the child had brought the bottle of weed killer into the hospital.

The parent and child were "decontaminated" and the weed killer removed from the hospital.

A spokesman for the hospital said it was standard procedure to evacuate an area when an incident arose involving a questionable substance.

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