Police launch criminal probe after men treated for cyanide poisoning
POLICE are carrying out a criminal investigation on a private estate in the Western Isles after two men were treated for suspected cyanide poisoning.
Two female paramedics also had to be decontaminated after treating the men, on the Isle of Lewis.
Specialist decontamination tents were erected at the roadside before the four were taken to Western Isles Hospital for further treatment.
Emergency services were called to the incident at Uig Lodge in Timsgarry, on the west side of Lewis, at about 7:20pm on Wednesday.
The alarm was raised when one of the men accidentally spilled a tin containing a substance suspected to have been cyanide. It is believed the owner was trying to dispose of the
material by using a vacuum cleaner to shrink-wrap a tin of the powder inside a plastic bag, when the material was blown in the air.
The suspected poison is believed to have been in storage after pest control work.
The man is understood to have tried to get help at the local GP’s surgery, but it was shut and a 24-year-old local man concerned started to drive him to hospital in Stornoway.
Their car was intercepted by police at Achmore and a roadside unit was set up, preventing the possibility of poison being passed on to staff and patients at the hospital.
The men were then transferred to hospital where they were decontaminated again, along with the paramedics.
The car driver and paramedics were discharged first, with the man who came into the initial contact with the suspected poison released by 11pm.
A spokeswoman for Northern Constabulary said: “The incident has involved a number of agencies working together, and there is not believed to be any further risk to the public.”
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