Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bullring fume alert

Although the authorities are working to reopen it later today, it looks like the Bullring, Birmingham's showcase shopping centre, is going to remain shut for the bank holiday weekend.

The problem began on Thursday when a "mystery incident" involving a possible chemical contamination of the ventilation system led to over thirty complaints of nausea and dizziness. According to BBC News, "Police said any contamination remained 'unexplained' and it was not known if it was from an accident or malicious act".

The Birmingham Post instead reports a more recent version of the events with the police describing the chemical leak as "an accident". "The incident is not being treated as suspicious and appears to be due to fumes from a cleaning product", said a spokesman for the Community Safety Bureau at Steelhouse Lane.

The Bullring shopping centre, which was rebuilt from scratch and re-opened in 2003, features over 140 shops. It has an average of 36.5 million visitors a year, making it the most visited shopping centre outside London.

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