SAINSBURY’S shoppers battled for breath and collapsed in aisles “like something from a movie scene” as an emergency evacuation was sparked today.
Seven customers of the branch in Longbridge, West Mids were left struggling to breathe during the bizarre incident this morning.
Cops have dashed to a branch of Sainsbury’s in Longbridge, West Mids after customers reportedly collapsed in the aislesCredit: SNAPPERSK
Seven people have been treated by paramedicsCredit: SNAPPERSK
Two women were rushed to hospital. They are in a stable condition, the ambulance service said.
Around 150 people were evacuated from the store. People were also told to leave surrounding businesses.
One shopper claimed the first woman fell ill at 9.30am amid a strong “peroxide” smell.
The shop remains closed and people are being urged to avoid the area.
Paramedics say seven people have been treated for “minor respiratory symptoms”.
Ambulances, cops and fire engines were called to the scene at around 10am, and a 50-metre cordon is in place.
A spokesperson from the fire service said: “Two people who were in the store have been taken to hospital.
“Our specialist officers are using air monitoring equipment inside the store to try and establish the cause of the incident.
“We are working closely with the store management, as well as our ambulance and police colleagues and Birmingham City Council.
“Around 150 people were evacuated from the store.”
Police said they were called to reports of customers suffering “breathing problems”.
“Officers attended and the store has been evacuated,” one officer said.
“The seven patients are being treated by paramedics.
“We have specialist officers working with colleagues across the emergency services to establish exactly what has happened.
“A cordon has been put in place and we’d advise people to stay away from the area.
Were you in the store? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502
“Anyone who has been in the area and is feeling unwell should seek medical advice as a precaution.”
It’s understood a faulty fridge may be responsible for the problems.
Locals have now taken to social media to tell of their horror.
One said: “My son works there and he said staff and customers were passing out in the aisles.
“They have been told it’s a gas leak. He said it was like a movie scene.”
A customer said she saw a woman “struggling to breathe” during a visit at 9.30am.
In a post on Facebook, she said: “I wasn’t in there long so didn’t notice, but at the checkout, the lady had to have a first aider.
“Wondering if that was the start of it all.”
‘STRUGGLED TO BREATHE’
Another said: “I was there around 9.30am.
“It smelled funny, like peroxide, and people were coughing.
“Some of the assistants were saying they couldn’t breathe and it affected their throats.”
A third woman claimed members of staff had fainted.
The social media user, who said her children work in the branch, posted: “My daughter rang to say it was horrible – people coughing, fighting for breath and passing out.”
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said, “Emergency services attended our Longbridge store this morning.
“Safety is our highest priority and the store is closed while we assist the police with their investigations.”
Two people are being treated in hospital this afternoonCredit: BPM
A 50-metre cordon is in place as the fire service investigatesCredit: BPM
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.