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01st Feb 2024

Eight hospitalised after exposure to ‘unknown chemical agent’ at Limerick college

Simon Kelly

Limerick chemical

Part of the college was evacuated following the incident.

Eight people were hospitalised after they were exposed to an ‘unknown chemical agent’ at the University of the Shannon (TUS) college campus in Limerick.

The people affected were taken from the campus to University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and were separated from other patients in hospital and kept under observation. It is believed they felt irritation to their eyes and burning in their throat area, which led to an evacuation of part of the campus at around 11am on Wednesday, January 31.

Seven patients were taken to UHL by ambulance, while an eighth self-presented. A ninth person was assessed at the scene. In the latest update, all but one patients have since been discharged from hospital.

Eight hospitalised after exposure to ‘unknown chemical agent’ at Limerick college

There was no source of the irritant found after an investigation and the college was deemed safe to re-open following the incident at approximately 2.30pm on Wednesday.

In a statement to JOE on Thursday, a spokesperson for UL Hospitals Group said: “A total of eight patients presented to the Emergency Department at UHL following an incident at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) campus at Moylish, Limerick, this Wednesday morning.

“A ninth patient was assessed at the scene by the Alternative Pre-Hospital Pathway (APP) service, a collaboration between the National Ambulance Service and UL Hospitals Group.

“Seven patients were conveyed to the Emergency Department by ambulance and another self-presented.

“Patients were retriaged on arrival and have been reassessed. As the patients in question may have been exposed to an as-yet unknown chemical agent, they were cohorted and kept under observation in a designated area separate from but adjacent to the ED proper.

“Staff at the Emergency Department regularly take part in training exercises and drills in the event of such an incident.

“All the patients are stable and all but one have been discharged from hospital as of 3.30pm.”

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