MoD staff sent on “indefinite leave” after discovery of widespread asbestos contamination

Ministry of Defence is to urgently undertake tests at Ashchurch site that employs over 500 staff

Testing is underway at a Ministry of Defence site in Ashchurch after staff were reportedly ‘evacuated’ due to “widespread asbestos contamination”, Gloucester Live has reported.

Staff have been ‘sent on indefinite leave’ from the MoD vehicle depot in Tewkesbury. The MoD have confirmed asbestos has been found in a number of buildings at the 178-acre site.

Ashchurch Camp is the MoD’s primary centre for long-term vehicle storage and distribution in the UK.

One observer, who requested anonymity, commented:

“Around two weeks ago the Ashchurch MoD vehicle storage site was evacuated due to widespread asbestos contamination. All staff were sent on indefinite leave.”

There are a total of 580 staff at Ashchurch, combining both MoD staff and contractors. The potential level of risk to individuals is not yet known at this time.

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Plans to remove and replace the asbestos, and to clean affected areas are being developed but buildings will only be reopened once they are deemed safe to be reoccupied.

An MoD spokesperson said:

“We can confirm that asbestos has been found in a number of buildings at our vehicle depot at Ashchurch. Staff have been informed and we are urgently carrying out further tests to establish the extent of the situation while we develop plans to remove the asbestos and clean affected areas.”