THREE men were taken to hospital after an explosion at the Johnson Matthey chemical laboratory in Royston on Tuesday.

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The men suffered injuries to the arms and faces, and ambulance crews from Royston and Letchworth were called, taking them to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

The incident occurred when a glass vessel broke during a testing experiment just before 11.30am, at the headquarters of the catalysts, precious metals and fine chemicals specialists in Orchard Road.

Firefighters from Royston and Baldock were also called, as well as police.

A spokesman for Johnson Matthey said: “Three employees were treated at the scene for minor injuries and were subsequently taken to hospital as a precaution.

“There was no environmental impact from the incident. A full investigation will be conducted into the incident and the relevant regulatory bodies will be informed.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Minor damage was called to the building.

“It was determined at the scene by fire officers that the incident had not been caused by a chemical leak.”

East of England Ambulance Service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: “The three men involved received slight injuries to their arms and face.

“Following assessments at the scene by paramedics and HART (Hazardous Area Response Team) operatives, they were all conveyed to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridgeshire.”

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