A MAN was hospitalised after being caught up in the chemical leak drama in Malvern on Thursday.

Martin Lawrence visited a hardware store in Spring Lane at about 10am, parking next to a Land Rover.

He said: “On leaving J Mart, I arrived back at my car at the same time as three males that had arrived in the Land Rover.

“Suddenly there was an explosion inside the Land Rover, there were ‘Bloody hell’ utterances.

“I asked what was that? ‘It’s just chlorine, like you use in a swimming pool’, came the reply.

“At the moment of the explosion the inside of the vehicle was opaque, you could see nothing; as it cleared one of the chaps opened the rear door, there was what appeared to be white foam inside the Land Rover, all over the rear of the car, roof, floor and rear door. I only breathed in a little of the gas, it was enough for me to back off and tell them to close the door.

“I said to these guys that chlorine was very dangerous and they should call the fire brigade.

“However one of them said ‘No it’s OK, it has happened before, right, where can we get some water to wash this?’

“Not at all happy with what I was being told, I dialled 999 and alerted fire and rescue to the incident and drove to Worcester.

“The back of my throat was by that time feeling the effect of the gas.

“About 45 minutes later I returned to Malvern and was curious, so drove to Spring Lane. I was told the Land Rover was still there, but the three chaps had done a runner.”

He started to cough, told a police officer what had happened, and an ambulance unit was called to assess him.

Mr Lawrence, a former member of Malvern Town Council, said: “I was told to remove all my clothing and shoes and was provided with a thin white boiler-type suit to wear, I was then taken in it to Worcestershire Royal where I was kept for a several hours hours until they were sure there was no lasting damage to my health.

“In the end I did not get back to Malvern until nearly 5pm.”

Police inspector Lewis Lincoln-Gordon confirmed officers are still investigating the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to call 101, quoting incident number 163s/060719.