HC Deb 04 April 1944 vol 398 cc1787-8
17. Mr. Hammersley

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any report to make on a fire-fighting practice on 22nd March, of which he has been informed, as a result of which a number of A.T.S. personnel were taken to hospital; whether he has any information as to the type of bombs used during the practice; whether a court of inquiry has been ordered; and what steps he is taking to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents.

Sir J. Grigg

In order to make the firefighting practice, in which incendiary bombs were being used, more realistic, the instructor set off a smoke generator and some thunder flashes. A number of the auxiliaries were overcome by the combination of fumes, and were admitted to hospital. I am glad to say they have now all returned to duty, after a period of leave. A court of inquiry has been held into this unfortunate incident. The use of the smoke generator indoors is contrary to existing instructions, and I am considering whether any further steps are necessary to prevent a recurrence.

Mr. Hammersley

While thanking my right hon. Friend for the information, might I ask whether any steps are being taken to ensure that the medical records of these personnel are suitably marked, in case of after-effects on their health?

Sir J. Grigg

I have not the slightest doubt that they will be, but I will verify that.

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