SHOPS and businesses in West Kirby were evacuated this afternoon following a chemical spillage.

Firefighters were called to a building in Grange Road at 12.38pm.

Crews from West Kirby and Upton fire stations attended the scene and found an estimated five litres of the substance had spilt. Two men were checked at the scene by paramedics.

Residents in nearby roads have been advised to keep windows and doors shut as a precaution following the incident.

Group Manager Chris Case said: "Two specialist officers, wearing protective equipment, have also entered the area with gas monitoring equipment to identify the substance.

"Adjoining premises have been evacuated as a precautionary measure.

"Everyone from businesses, local people and emergency services have been very co-operative and we are very thankful for that."

Spencer Radford-Smith, deputy manager of nearby Wetherspoons told the Globe: "They wanted us to clear the building and we thought it would just be for a about half an hour.

"At least the spillage is being dealt with, so it doesn't matter how long it takes."

Motorists are advised to avoid the area at the present time.

Police said the road is closed to traffic as a precautionary measure whilst the incident is being dealt with.

An update will be provided when more information is available.