Man in custody after alleged capsicum spray incident

UPDATE: A 34-year-old Woree man is in custody after he was allegedly involved in causing a "chemical leak" at the Reef Hotel Casino that resulted in an evacuation and eight people hospitalised.

Police allege the man sprayed a canister in the air at the Wharf St business shortly before 10pm on Sunday, causing discomfort and difficulties breathing to several people.

Casino management reported the incident to emergency services and QFES crews attend to investigate.

"We had reports from management there saying there was some sort of a chemical leak, there was a really bad chemical smell at the ground floor gaming room and everyone was evacuating," a QFES spokeswoman said.

"We investigated, we sent two men in BA (Breathing Apparatus) to check all the gas readings … all levels were normal."

A Woree man has been charged following an alleged incident at the Reef Hotel Casino shortly before 10pm on Sunday.
A Woree man has been charged following an alleged incident at the Reef Hotel Casino shortly before 10pm on Sunday.

Eight people were assessed by paramedics and taken to Cairns Hospital in a stable condition as a precaution after "reportedly being exposed to a substance".

A police spokeswoman said the Woree man allegedly then went on to a Lake Street pub and attempted to pay for some drinks with counterfeit money.

"Police allege he assaulted a security guard with capsicum spray when evicted from the pub," she said.

The Woree man has been charged with dangerous conduct with a weapon, possessing counterfeit money, assaults occasioning bodily harm and two counts of unlawful possession of weapons.

He is scheduled to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court on November 17.

EARLIER: Eight people have been taken to hospital and many others evacuated following a suspected "chemical leak" at the Reef Hotel Casino overnight.

Emergency services were called to the venue on Wharf St just before 10pm on Sunday after casino management reported what they thought was a chemical leak.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said crews attended the job to investigate.

Eight people have been taken to hospital and many others evacuated following a suspected “chemical leak” at the Cairns casino. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Eight people have been taken to hospital and many others evacuated following a suspected “chemical leak” at the Cairns casino. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

 

"We had reports from management there saying there was some sort of a chemical leak, there was a really bad chemical smell at the ground floor gaming room and everyone was evacuating," she said.

"We investigated, we sent two men in BA (Breathing Apparatus) to check all the gas readings … all levels were normal."

A Queensland Ambulance spokesman said paramedics were also called to the casino and assessed several patients "with mild symptoms".

"We transported eight patients to Cairns Hospital just very precautionary after being exposed to a substance," he said.

"It was just a precautionary measure, there was no one in any real strife."

All eight patients were in a stable condition.


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