A CORDON around Minehead Sewage Treatment has been lifted after a 'chemical reaction' produced a ‘potentially toxic' gas cloud.

Emergency services were called to Minehead Sewage Treatment at 1.19pm on Thursday (September 26) after reports of the chemical reaction.

Police and fire engines and special appliances from Minehead, Taunton, Porlock, Lynton, Wiveliscombe and Street rushed to the scene as a 'large amount of smoke' was seen coming from the main plant area.

When they arrived firefighters evacuated the site and put a 100m cordon in place as they confirmed the chemical incident had produced a small amount of Chlorine gas.

People living in the area were advised to stay indoors and keep their windows and doors closed and West Somerset railway services were held while firefighters dealt with the incident.

READ MORE: SHUT DOORS AND WINDOWS: Site evacuation and cordon in place as 'chemical reaction' produces ‘potentially toxic’ gas cloud

Images released by Minehead Fire Station show firefighters wearing hazmat suits at the scene using hoses to suppress the gas cloud.

Wessex Water said the incident, which has now been resolved, was caused by a third party firm delivering a chemical to the site.

A Wessex Water spokesman said:  “While there was no impact on water and sewerage services, and Minehead water recycling centre was able to continue to operate as normal, we realise this incident caused concern locally.

“We will be thoroughly investigating what happened and speaking to the third party company involved.

“We’d like to thank Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue service for their assistance in helping to make the chemicals safe and ensuring there was no health risk to local people.”

Speaking at the time of the incident, a spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are dealing with a protracted incident at the Wessex Water sewage treatment works in Dunster.

"The chemical incident is producing a small amount of Chlorine gas that is being controlled and diluted with jets of water.

"The gas is not affecting residential areas as the wind and water are dispersing the gas towards the sea, however if you are concerned please close your doors and windows. Please do not cross the cordons that are in place for public safety. We expect to be at the scene throughout the night.

"Chlorine gas has a pungent bleach odour.

"Minor exposures may result in a burning sensation of the eyes and throat. More substantial exposure may cause coughing or breathing difficulties.

"Those with a chest condition such as asthma or emphysema may be more sensitive to the effects of chlorine. Most people who have developed symptoms following an exposure to chlorine will not suffer any long-term effects.

"If you are concerned about your health, call NHS 111, contact your General Practitioner (GP) or in the case of an emergency, call 999."

At 1.50am on Friday (September 27) the cordon was lifted, the block was lifted on West Somerset Railway services and the fire service said there was no off-site risk from chlorine as low levels of chlorine detected were confined to area around a storage tank.

Firefighters put away their equipment which included eight gas tight suits used and 12 breathing apparatus sets and handed the site back to the operators.