A young woman, believed to be in her twenties, has died following a chemical incident close to one of Britain’s most exclusive universities. A street has also been cordoned off and firefighters dressed in chemical protection suits have rushed to the scene at Magdalen Road, which is a road popular with students from the university.
Some households have been evacuated while others have been told to remain inside and to keep their windows closed after police officers issued confirmation that a woman had been found dead inside a home on the street. Residents living nearby said that emergency responders had questioned them about whether they had smelt anything.
Magdalen College, which is one of Oxford University’s best known, is situated around a mile away. It is understood that the young woman had access to chemicals, but it is not yet known whether she was a student or whether she might have worked at one of the laboratories at the university.
One man, who owns a hairdressers on the affected road, said he had been told that a “chemical incident” had taken place. Meanwhile, witness Susan Thomas, 48, said she had come outside to see what was going on, but was ushered back inside her home by police officers. She said she felt scared by what what happening.
Other householders said they had been able to leave their homes, but were not allowed to go back under the police cordon. Meanwhile, police officers said they did not know how long the street would be closed for.
A spokesperson for Oxford University said that while they could not rule out that the chemical involved in the ongoing incident was from a university laboratory, they added that it was simply speculation at the moment. The woman who has died has not yet been identified.