ITV said the storyline was thoroughly researched and adhered to NHS guidelines

An episode of Emmerdale which included an acid attack has sparked more than 200 complaints to media regulator Ofcom.

Thursday’s instalment of the ITV soap saw Ross Barton left with a disfigured face after having acid thrown at him by drug dealer Simon McManus.

The TV watchdog said that it has received 228 complaints from viewers.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We are assessing these complaints under our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate.”

Ross, played by Michael Parr who spoke to us about the storyline, was the accidental victim of the acid attack, as he had been mistaken for Joe Tate by Simon in the dramatic scene.

Simon (Liam Ainsworth) had been ordered to throw acid at Joe (Ned Porteous) at the request of Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb), who had paid him to do so as part of a revenge plot.

After Simon threw the acid, viewers saw Ross’s face become scarred.

Emmerdale had warned before the scene that viewer discretion was advised.

An Emmerdale spokeswoman said: “Emmerdale has a long track record of tackling difficult and topical storylines and the unprovoked acid attack upon Ross is another example of this.

“We take our responsibility seriously when portraying what happens in these circumstances. Consequently, the storyline was researched thoroughly with medical experts at Pinderfields Hospital.

“For the sequence following Ross’s attack we adhered carefully to the NHS guidelines about how to help people who are the victim of an acid attack.

“We also specifically researched this story with one particular victim who felt it important to share what happened to him with the Emmerdale production team.”