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Britain Chemical Haze

A mysterious 'chemical haze' injured over 150 beach-goers in the UK

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Over 150 people have been treated for stinging eyes and throats after a mysterious 'chemical haze' drifted onto a stretch of the UK's East Sussex coastline on Sunday.

Authorities are still trying to identify the source of the mist, which had residents and visitors fleeing the beach and cliffs of Birling Gap, a coastal area south of London.

Britain Chemical Haze
People relax on the beach at Birling Gap in Eastboune, Sussex, England, on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. More than 100 people have been treated for streaming eyes, sore throats and breathing problems after a chemical haze spread over a stretch of southern England coastline. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)

Life boats aided people attempting to leave the beaches, and Eastbourne District General Hospital treated those affected with a full decontamination. However, these precautions were soon deemed unnecessary, and patients who arrived later were given basic treatment. The effects of the irritant were mostly minor.

In a statement, Sussex Police reported that hundreds more than the 150 treated were likely affected by the gas cloud. Pollution has been swept from French industrial facilities to Britain in the past, but police say it is "extremely unlikely" this particular gas came from France. The cause of the Sussex mist has not been determined.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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