Health officials in southern England on Sunday confirmed that 233 people were being treated in hospital after a suspected chemical leak along Britain's southern coast earlier in the day. The officials in East Sussex made on Sunday night the confirmation after British emergency services evacuated a beach in Sussex in southern England. On Sunday morning, some 50 people on the beach at Birling Gap reported painful, stinging eyes and breathing difficulties after a "mist" appeared, local media reports said. Sussex Police said there was an "unknown haze coming in from the sea" affecting the East Sussex coastline. Surrounding roads have been closed and the public is being advised to avoid the area. Emergency services warn people near east Sussex coast to stay away from beaches and to keep windows closed after "chemical haze" reported. A police spokesman said the first report came in just before 17:00 BST where "up to 50 people had been affected by irritation to eyes and throats." Due to its strategic location on the south coast, Sussex has always played an essential part in both communications and the defense of England.