Shoppers evacuated from Sainsbury's after people 'collapse with breathing problems'

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
Emergency services rushed to a Sainsbury's in Longbridge following reports of people collapsing (SWNS/West Mids Fire)
Emergency services rushed to a Sainsbury's in Longbridge following reports of people collapsing (SWNS/West Mids Fire)

Two people have been taken to hospital after a number of people collapsed in a Sainsbury's in the West Midlands with "breathing problems".

Emergency services rushed to the scene in Longbridge on Friday morning following reports of people having "respiratory issues".

Around 150 people were evacuated from the store, and paramedics treated seven people at the scene who had fallen in.

The cause of the issues is not yet known. People in surrounding buildings are understood to have also been cleared.

A nearby college building was not evacuated, but advised to keep windows closed as a precaution.

The roads around the incident have since been reopened and firefighters have left the scene.

A West Midlands Fire spokesperson said:"We have now left the scene after carrying out extensive checks.

"Our detection equipment has highlighted nothing of concern. Sainsbury's and their own engineers will be carrying out further investigations before making a decision on reopening the Longbridge store."

Emergency services rushed to the scene in Longbridge on Friday morning where people are being treated with breathing issues. (West Mids Fire)
Emergency services rushed to the scene in Longbridge on Friday morning where people are being treated with breathing issues. (West Mids Fire)
Fire, police and ambulance crews dealt with the incident (West Mids Fire)
Fire, police and ambulance crews dealt with the incident (West Mids Fire)

A witness told BirminghamLive: “I saw a man on the floor outside the college. He was laying down, but was responsive. I wondered what on earth was going on?

"He was with two people. It’s crazy. I think the supermarket and the college have been evacuated. Some nearby shops to Sainsbury’s, I think Greggs, has also closed.”

Kirsty-Louise Basnett was one of those taken ill in the incident, and said she was "sick".

But she took to Facebook afterwards to let others know she is "okay"

Kirsty wrote: "Me and my mates were treated by paramedics. We are okay. We were coughing, being sick and had sore throats."

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “A total of seven patients were assessed by the ambulance service after displaying minor respiratory problems.

"Two women received treatment on scene before being conveyed by ambulance, in a stable condition, to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further checks.

"The remaining five patients were later discharged on scene.

“A number of other people at the scene, who were described as ‘worried but well’, received advice from the team of ambulance staff."

Two women were taken to hospital. (SWNS)
Two women were taken to hospital. (SWNS)

A spokesperson for West Midland's Fire Service said: "Shortly before 10am on Friday 20 May we were alerted to an incident at the Sainsbury’s supermarket on High Street, Longbridge, Birmingham.

"A number of people had reported feeling unwell, with apparent breathing difficulties.

"Two fire engines and one of our 4x4 Brigade Response vehicles responded, from Northfield and Kings Norton fire stations, together with a number of officers and colleagues from the police and ambulance services.

"The first crew was at the scene within three minutes of being mobilised. The store had been evacuated before we arrived.

"A 50-metre cordon was put in place around the store. Other premises within the cordon were also evacuated."

A spokeswoman from West Midlands Police said: "Officers attended and the store has been evacuated and people are also being cleared from other buildings in the area.

"The six patients are being treated by paramedics at the scene.

"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."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting