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Emergency services vehicles are seen outside the European Union Council building after noxious gases were found in its kitchens in Brussels, Belgium October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An apparent mishap with cleaning products at the European Union's new summit venue generated noxious fumes that put kitchen staff in hospital and forced the evacuation of the whole building on Friday.

The incident at the Europa Building, which opened only in January amid some controversy over its cost, was still being investigated. But the Council of the EU said it would not prevent a crunch summit next Thursday and Friday with British Prime Minister Theresa May from going ahead.

"We hope to be able to reopen the building within the next few hours," a Council official said.

Some 20 kitchen staff were treated in hospital after breathing in fumes that appeared to have been generated by a chemical reaction between industrial cleaning products.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Robin Pomeroy)

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