Staff to return to evacuated office soon

Incident outside Tax office
Incident outside Tax office

Staff could be back working in Bowback House on Friday following yesterday’s evacuation.

HM Inland Revenue & Customs staff complained of a ‘strange smell’ coming from their air conditioning yesterday, prompting a cordon around their Silbury Boulevard base.

The fire and rescue service declared the building safe last night, but staff were given the day off for further tests to be carried out.

Lisa Billard, press officer from Inland Revenue, said that 27 people were treated by paramedics, but that they hoped for the offices to be open again tomorrow (Friday).

She said: “HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff were evacuated from Bowback House, Milton Keynes yesterday, following air quality problems resulting in staff breathing difficulties in a part of the building occupied by DWP employees.

“Emergency services were quickly on the scene and the building cordoned off. 127 staff members were assessed by paramedics after 27 staff members complained of breathing problems, nausea and headaches. “All were treated at the scene, and it is understood that nobody was hospitalised.

“HMRC alerted the building’s landlords, Mapeley, at the earliest opportunity and the matter has been referred to the Health and Safety Executive who are on site today. Investigations are ongoing to establish the cause of the incident, but it is expected that the building will be declared safe this afternoon and hopefully reopened on Friday at the latest.”