Fire service warns of asbestos risk after teen enters disused building

26th January 2015

The fire service has issued a warning against people entering disused buildings after a teenager was recently exposed to asbestos dust in a former hotel in Devon.

After the 16-year-old girl entered the Quality Hotel in Plymouth through a broken window, she became stuck on the first floor canopy. Fire and police officers were called, and used a ladder to help get her down. The building contains asbestos, so the girl was told to dispose of all the clothes she was wearing at the time with the aid of a licensed waste handler. She was also given advice regarding medical symptoms and decontamination showers, reports torquayheraldexpress.co.uk.

Group manager Paul Bray from the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service says it “strongly discourages” anyone else from entering the site unless they have permission, due to the risk of asbestos exposure.

“Although this might seem like a minor mishap on the part of the young person, the inside of the hotel has been vandalised, breaking plaster walls and ceilings containing asbestos,” he explains.

“Whilst inside the premises the young lady was exposed to asbestos particles which have been released into the atmosphere. Asbestos has a very serious health risks to anyone coming into contact with the substance.”

The security of the building will now be increased, to ensure a similar incident does not occur again, reports wellsjournal.co.uk.