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'No one in the pool' at time of Witham chemical incident

Witham Leisure Centre. Credit: Google Street View.

The charity that runs the swimming pool at the centre of a chemical scare this weekend says no-one was in the water at the time.

Fusion Lifestyle has launched an investigation following the incident at Witham Leisure Centre when staff mixed the wrong chemicals in an attempt to make chlorine.

A spokesman said it happened in the plant room and no one was in the pool at the time. The rest of the leisure centre has now re-opened and swimmers are being encouraged to use the pool in Halstead instead.

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Patients taken to hospital and eight treated for breathing difficulties following Witham chemical incident

Eight people have been treated at the scene and others taken to hospital following a chemical incident in Witham. Credit: Google Street View.

Eight people have been treated for breathing difficulties at the scene of a chemical incident in Essex.

The East of England Ambulance Service says it has also taken a number of patients from Witham Leisure Park to Broomfield Hospital after being called at 11.44am on Saturday, March 18.

Two ambulances, two ambulance offices, two rapid response cars and the hazardous area response team are all attending.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service has also sent six crews.

Leisure centre evacuated after chemical incident in Witham

Witham Leisure Centre, where there has been a chemical incident. Credit: Google Street View.

A leisure centre in Essex has been evacuated following a "chemical mixing error" in the swimming pool.

Crews from Essex Fire and Rescue Service were called to Witham Leisure Centre just before 11.30am on Saturday (March 18).

They remain on the scene and have confirmed an ambulance was also called to the centre.

A fire service spokesman said "two chemicals have been mixed together in a dosing machine by error" leading to the evacuation of the building.

Teenage Northampton swimmer smashes butterfly record

Ellie Robinson set a new British record. Credit: British Swimming.

Teenage Northampton swimmer Ellie Robinson has qualified for the Rio Paralympics after setting a new British record at the Para-swimming trials.

14-year-old Robinson, who has a form of dwarfism, clocked 36.70 seconds in her S6 50m butterfly heats, before registering an even better time of 36.34 seconds in the final.

It means she easily achieved the qualification standard required to qualify for September's games in Brazil.

She will now be aiming for the world record of 36.05 which is held by Ukraine's Oksana Khrul.

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Campaign to improve school swimming lessons

A new survey by the Amateur Swimming Association has found that nearly half of the children here in the East can't swim.

The survey revealed that only 57% of children are able to swim 25 metres unaided.

Karen Pickering from Suffolk is one of Britain's most successful swimmers and now runs the Karen Pickering Swim Foundation which offers finance to help those most in need learn to swim.

Nearly half of our children can't swim

Parents say swimming should be part of curriculum. Credit: Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

A new survey by the Amateur Swimming Association has found that nearly half of the children here in the East can't swim.

The survey revealed that only 57% of children are able to swim 25 metres unaided.

Only 39% of parents here say their children currently have swimming lessons at school.

Yet 79% of parents believe swimming should remain part of the national curriculum.

83% of parents believe children should learn to swim by the time they finish primary school.

Only 57% of parents say their children would be able to swim to safety if they were in danger in open water

Karen Pickering from Suffolk is one of Britain's most successful swimmer and now runs the Karen Pickering Swim Foundation which offers finance to help those most in need learn to swim. For more information on her foundation click onto http://www.karenpickeringswim.com/

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