Two police officers taken to hospital following noxious substance incident

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A number of residents also became unwell

By Rebecca Black (PA)

Two police officers have been taken to hospital after encountering what has been described as a noxious substance in Belfast.

Two other officers were also affected but did not require hospital treatment.

The incident came as officers responded to an unrelated call in the Ravenhill Reach Court area in east Belfast on Friday.

A suspected gas leak was detected in a communal area at around 9.15pm.

“The building was evacuated and a nearby community centre was opened for residents while colleagues from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene,” a police spokesperson said.

“It has since been established that this was not a gas leak, and at this time we believe that some kind of noxious substance was released inside the building.

“Residents were able to return to their homes around 11.40pm and inquiries are ongoing to establish the source of the substance.

“Two other police officers were also affected, but did not require hospital treatment. A number of residents were also displaying symptoms.

“I would commend the professionalism of the officers who were in attendance. Despite suffering from the effects of the substance, they ensured that residents were evacuated to safety.”

The police spokesperson added: “If anyone has any information, please contact police on 101, quoting reference 1423 of 22/9/23.”

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