Sainsbury’s Longbridge evacuated: what caused some people to ‘pass out’ and has the store reopened?

Shoppers were allowed back into the store at around 5.00pm.

A Sainsbury’s store in Birmingham was evacuated on Friday after several people started to experience problems with their breathing.

Two people were taken to hospital.

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This is what we know so far.

What happened?

The emergency services were scrambled to Sainsbury’s Longbridge store at around 10am on Friday morning.

It has been reported that as many as seven people were experiencing problems with breathing when the evacuation procedure was activated.

Two people were taken from the scene to hospital - their current conditions are currently unknown.

Eye witnesses say there were between 150 and 200 people inside the store when the incident occurred.

Although no official explanation has been given either by Sainsbury’s or the emergency services, BirminghamWorld understands the incident might have had something to do with an air conditioning unit.

However, one eye witness claimed the incident was caused by refrigerator units.

Has the store reopened?

Yes, after a cordon wasput in place, the store reopened at around 5.00pm on Friday.

Has Sainsbury’s made a statement?

Yes. A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “Safety is our highest priority and the store is closed while we assist the police with their investigations.”

What else have the emergency services been saying?

A spokesperson for West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) 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,” finished the spokesperson.