British Museum evacuated over `strange smell`

Building was evacuated as precaution, but no one required hospital treatment.

Updated: Aug 29, 2010, 10:05 AM IST

London: About 8,000 visitors were evacuated from the British Museum in London on Saturday after a "strange smell" was reported, police and the museum said.

The museum, one of Britain`s top tourist attractions, was given the all clear after several hours and was expected to open as usual on Sunday.

"At about 12:50 pm (1150 GMT), we were called to the British Museum to report to a strange smell. About 10 visitors thought it was causing irritation to their eyes," a police spokesman said.

The building was evacuated as a precaution, but no one required hospital treatment.

A spokeswoman for the museum said about 8,000 people were thought to be visiting when it was evacuated because of a "gas or chemical incident", but said the site had been declared safe by 5:00 pm (1600 GMT).

PTI