Asbestos Found In Tunnels Underneath St Pancras Hospital

Workers Sent For Lung Tests And X-rays


Specialist lawyers from Irwin Mitchell have raised their concerns after a network of tunnels beneath St Pancras Hospital site were closed due to an asbestos scare and reiterated their calls for the creation of a risk register to remove the deadly dust without any risk to the general public.

Independent experts are understood to have found amosite and crocidolite, which are potentially the most dangerous forms of asbestos. Workers who use the tunnel have been sent for lung tests and X-rays by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and a decontamination unit has been installed at the site in St Pancras Way.

Danger signs have been placed around the manholes and workers using the huge tunnels are being dressed in specialist protective suits and face-fitted masks as a “precautionary measure”.

The problem only came to light after contractor Cofely asked about asbestos checks during negotiations over a multi-million pound maintenance contract.

A spokeswoman for the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff who may potentially have experienced exposure to asbestos-containing materials. We are in the process of notifying individuals within that group and they will have full access to specialist screening and full occupational health input.”

The trust said it was taking legal advice on whether the proper certificates were obtained at the time.

St Pancras Hospital was formerly the St Pancras Workhouse which dates back before 1777 and the hospital is partly housed in the original buildings which increases the risk of asbestos within their grounds.

This comes just weeks after the Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital in Wales had to seal off wards, cancel planned operations and divert emergency ambulances after suspected asbestos dust was found in the air.

Ian Bailey, a specialist asbestos illness lawyer from Irwin Mitchell, has questioned how many more scares need to take place before the Government take action.

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
“Sadly it seems like every few weeks there's another asbestos scare in the news and it is always worrying when it concerns a hospital which houses hundreds of vulnerable patients and staff.

“There can no longer be any question as to the clear dangers of asbestos and unfortunately we see on a regular basis how the deadly dust can ruin lives many years after victims were exposed to it.

“Part of the hospital was built many years ago when the use of asbestos in construction was prevalent and although no patients were affected this time there is clearly a risk to the workers using the tunnel.

“Worryingly questions are now being asked about whether full asbestos checks were carried out when it should have been one of the first considerations when the trust took over the site in 2012.

“Once again, we feel it is the right time for the Government to intervene and introduce a risk register which clearly states the public buildings throughout the country where asbestos may be present. This way, the harmful substances can be safety removed on a priority basis by workers with the correct safety equipment and without any danger to the general public.”
Ian Bailey, Partner