Six fire crews rushed to a busy hospital after a chemical leak.

Firefighters were called to Southend Hospital, Prittlewell Chase, Southend last night at about 7pm.

The crews reported that a container filled with formaldehyde was leaking.

Formaldehyde is used to preserve biopsy specimens and can be harmful if breathed in.

Firefighters quickly isolated the area, cleaned up and disposed of the liquid by 8:30pm.

There were no reported injuries.

Formaldehyde causes chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and nose and throat irritation.

Denise Townsend, director of nursing at Southend Hospital, said: “We would like to thank the fire service for their assistance in dealing with a spillage at Southend Hospital. 
“The fire service helped us contain the spillage which was dealt with according to our established safety procedures.
“There was no disruption to our service.”