Emergency services vehicles at the European Council building
A ventilation problem caused the air to be filled with toxic gases in the new Europa Building in Brussels, the organisation has said.
The European Council said in a statement that a “technical issue” with the ventilation “producing noxious fumes in the kitchens, has led to a number of kitchen staff falling ill.”
Emergency services vehicles including police cars and ambulances were pictured outside the building as staff were escorted off the premises.
Some were evacuated to the old EU building next door. It is not known whether any of the staff were hospitalised.
The Europa building was unveiled in December 2016 as the new home of the European Council and of summit meetings for EU27 leaders.
The €321 million euro project was meant to symbolise “joy” at a time of increasing frustration with Brussels bureaucrats.
It was quickly nicknamed the “Space Egg” because of its unique design – an ovular lantern-shaped structure inside a cube made of recycled window frames from countries across the European Union.
The building was hugely criticised for its high cost at a time when member states are faced with significant spending cuts – and while Brussels was meant to be trying to cut waste.
Staff intoxicated from 'noxious fumes' at EU council building
Fri, October 13, 2017
15 people were intoxicated following a ventilation problem in the kitchen of the Europa Building, the place were European leaders are due to meet October 19-20, 2017
AFP/. Images 1 of 6
Belgian rescue personnel gather at The European Council in Brussels
The ventilation issues could raise questions about safety at the state-of-the-art building.
The EU says the incident will not prevent the October 19-20 summit of EU leaders from taking place.
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