EU moves Brussels summit from ′Space Egg′ because of toxic fumes | News | DW | 18.10.2017
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EU moves Brussels summit from 'Space Egg' because of toxic fumes

Toxic fumes seeping from kitchen drains have forced the European Union to move a leaders' summit in Brussels at the last minute. It's not the first time stinky vapors have afflicted the new EU headquarters.

The Europa building was evacuated for the second time in a week on Wednesday after noxious fumes caused a number of staff to fall ill.

As a "precautionary measure," the European Council said it had decided to move the two-day summit of EU leaders, set to begin Thursday, to the building next door.

"In the light of today's incident in the Europa building, it has been decided … that the European Council of 19-20 October will take place in the Justus Lipsius building," the council said in a statement.

It added that the fumes leaking from kitchen drains appeared to be the product of a chemical reaction between cleaning products.

Firefighters and medical staff were brought in to investigate, but the problem couldn't be resolved in time for the summit. 

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Recurring problem

The building was also cleared on Friday after several kitchen staff were hospitalized with symptoms including vomiting and sore eyes. It is unclear how many staff were affected on Wednesday.

The €320 million ($378 million) Europa building, nicknamed the "Space Egg" because of its unusual oval shape, opened in January after a series of delays, replacing the Justus Lipsius building where EU summits had been held since 1995.

Designed by Belgian architect Philippe Samyn, it features a curved glass structure inside a giant cube made of thousands of window frames salvaged from across the bloc.

Leaders from the 28 EU states are due to discuss a range of issues, including Brexit, when they meet in the Belgian capital on Thursday.

nm/rc (AFP, Reuters, AP)


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