A PARTY drug which spilt at Brighton Police Station sparked a major incident.

Firefighters were called when the half-litre bottle of liquid chemical GBL spilled on to the carpet at Sussex Police station in John Street, Brighton, on Friday afternoon.

Two engines from Brighton attended at 2.20pm to decontaminate the office affected by the drug, an irritant to the skin and eyes, understood to be at the police station as evidence.

Brighton fire station commander Richard Chamberlain said: “We were called to a small chemical incident inside the police station.

“When we arrived we were faced with a small amount of colourless liquid that had spilled out of a plastic bottle inside the office. We were told it was the chemical GBL.

“We consulted our chemical experts and sought the protective equipment required to deal with the chemicals and went into the office and brought it out into the open air and made it safe.

“We brought the bottle and all the contaminated items into open air, where we decontaminated it and have handed it back to police.

“No one was harmed and no one had any liquid on their skin.”

The liquid is “not highly toxic as chemicals go” Mr Chamberlain said, but is best kept away from the skin and eyes.

Firefighters were on the scene until about 5pm but the building was not evacuated. Two engines from Brighton attended.

GBL – gammabutyrolacton – is converted to GHB shortly after entering the body and produces a feeling of euphoria as well as sleepiness and can reduce inhibitions.

It has become a popular party drug, partly because it is relatively cheap, but it has been blamed for deaths, including that of Sussex University student Hester Stewart in 2009.

The drug has also been linked to sexual assaults because it can knock people out.

It is a Class C drug with legitimate uses but it is an offence to supply or possess the drug knowing it will be ingested. Possession is punishable by up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine, while supply can be punished by up to four years in jail. Mr Chamberlain said he did not know how the chemical was spilled.

A Sussex Police spokesman said the incident was “under investigation”.