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Teenage girl's disappearance 'out of character'

**SOPHIE HAS NOW BEEN FOUND**

Police are appealing for the public's help to trace a missing teenage girl.

16-year-old Sophie McPherson from Dunston in Gateshead was last seen by her family at her home in the early hours of Monday 9th January.

It is believed Sophie may be with friends, but both police and family need her to get in touch to ensure she is safe and well.

Police enquiries have so far been unable to locate her and Sophie's family have described her disappearance 'as out of character.'

Officers are now appealing for help from the public and anyone who knows Sophie's whereabouts should get in touch by calling 101.

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Gateshead pools closed after swimmers get sickness & diarrhoea

The swimming pools at Blaydon and Dunston Leisure Centres have been temporarily closed f Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The swimming pools at Blaydon and Dunston Leisure Centres have been temporarily closed for a deep clean of the water filtration system .

It's after reports of sickness and diarrhoea that are believed to be associated with the leisure centres.

Health experts from Public Health England (PHE) and the council's environmental health department are investigating.

It's thought they could be closed for several days.

Dr Gayle Dolan, consultant in health protection at PHE’s North East Centre said:

We can confirm we have received reports of seven cases of cryptosporidios amongst users at the the two leisure centres. We are working closely with environmental health colleagues at Gateshead Council to investigate the possible source. As a precautionary measure Gateshead Council have closed the swimming pools so that they can undergo thorough cleansing.

Cryptosporidiosis is caused by the organism cryptosporidium and produces symptoms of diarrhoea and abdominal pain. In most cases the diarrhoea settles after a few days, but in a small number of cases cryptosporidiosis can be very unpleasant, with diarrhoea lasting for several weeks.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis is advised to avoid swimming for two weeks after symptoms have stopped.

– Dr Gayle Dolan

Lindsey Murray, Service Director for Culture, Communities, Leisure and Volunteering:

To date, seven cases of the infection, which causes diarrhoea and stomach pain, have been identified in people who have been swimming in the leisure centres.

As a result, swimming pools at Blaydon and Dunston Leisure Centres have been temporarily closed to the public for a deep clean of the water system to be carried out.

We take pool water safety and hygiene very seriously and carry out all the regulatory water health and satiety procedures as standard practice. We do everything to ensure the highest level of water quality is maintained for our customers.

– Lindsey Murray

Gateshead Council's Leisure Centres are not suspected to be the origin of the illness, instead it's believed to have been introduced to the pools by an infected user.

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Forty firefighters tackle Dunston pub blaze

disused Metz Public House

Forty firefighters have been tackling a blaze at the disused Metz Public House on Ravensworth Road, Dunston, Gateshead.

No one was inside the building.

“The fire appears to have started in the roof space of the building. Due to the size, location and extent of the fire crews faced difficult conditions and acted quickly to get the fire under control and to prevent it from spreading.

"The fire was tackled from above using the Aerial Ladder Platform and on the ground using jets. Two teams of three firefighters wearing specialist breathing apparatus entered the building to stop the fire spreading.

"I would like to thank the emergency services and the local authority who worked well together in tackling the incident."

– Group Manager Mark Gerrard, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
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