Nearly a dozen swimmers, mainly children, were taken to hospital after a chemical leak at a Black Country swimming pool.

Around 40 people, aged from eight to 26 years, were affected during a chlorine based incident at Coseley Swimming Pool from 1pm today.

The swimmers complained of watering eyes, difficulty in breathing and throat and nose irritation.

West Midlands Ambulance Service have dispatched six ambulances, three doctors, a specialist Hazardous Area Response Team, and three officers to the scene.

Nine people were taken to New Cross Hospital while a further two patients were transferred to Sandwell hospital for further treatment, at around 3pm.

Staff at Russells Hall Hospital have also been put on standby.

A West Midlands Ambulance spokesman said: “There appears to have been a release of a chlorine based chemical at the swimming pool.

“Approximately 40 people, mainly children have been affected.  They are displaying symptoms of watering eyes, difficulty in breathing and throat and nose irritation.”

It is believed that a number of people may have left the scene before the symptoms started.  If they develop the advice is remove affected clothing, shower the affected area, put clean clothes on, and go outside and get a breath of fresh air.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “Approx 40 people, mainly children, were affected and are being treated  and assessed at the scene before being moved to nearby Coseley school.

“They are mainly being treated for symptoms of watering eyes, difficulty in breathing and  throat and nose irritation. The nature of the incident is being investigated  by the fire service chemical experts.

“People are being advised to stay  away from the site and residents within a 400 metre radius and also to keep all  windows and doors closed and to report any symptoms to their GP or NHS  Direct.”