Toxic fumes cause evacuation of European Union building

EU's £300m 'egg' building in POISON ALERT as staff taken ill by 'noxious fumes'

Fifteen persons poisoned at European Council; medical emergency plan launched

The European Union's new summit venue will re-open on Monday after noxious fumes put kitchen staff in hospital and forced the evacuation of the whole building on Friday. "That caused fumes", Pierre Meys, a spokesman for Brussels emergency services, told AFP.

The 321-million-euro ($380-million) headquarters of the European Council were evacuated and ambulances rushed to the building, dubbed the "Space Egg" because of its futuristic oval interior shape. It is not known whether any of the staff were hospitalised.

The Press Service of the European Council explained that a technical problem occurred in the ventilation systems of the building's kitchens, giving off toxic fumes that affected some kitchen employees.

In the heart of the European district, the Europa building combines a new part designed by the consortium of Samyn and Partners (Belgium), Studio Valle Progettazioni (Italy) and Buro Happold (UK), and a renovated section listed Art Deco complex designed by architect Michel Polak in 1922.

Staff from the Europa building were evacuated to the neighbouring Justus Lipsius building "applying the principle of safety first", the council added.

The EU said an investigation into the incident had been launched.

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