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Nine more fall ill after Mumbai Chlorine gas leak
MUMBAI, JUL 15 (IANS):
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Published on 15 Jul. 2010 11:14 PM IST
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A day after more than 100 people fell sick as chlorine gas leaked from a Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) scrapyard, nine others were admitted to hospital Thursday with complaints of nausea and burning eyes, an official said.
“Nine employees of the MPT complained of burning eyes, breathlessness and nausea since last night (Wednesday),” said an MPT spokesperson.
“They have been admitted to the MPT hospital this (Thursday) morning and are under observation. None of them are in critical condition,” he added.
The spokesperson said efforts are still on to neutralise the effects of chlorine in and around the MPT premises in Hay Bunder in Sewri, southcentral Mumbai.
“Experts from the Maharashtra Disaster Management Authority are assisting us in the neutralisation process and in the relief operations,” the spokesperson said.
“Although the process had slowed down in the morning due to strong wind, we will finish the process by tonight (Thursday). We expect no danger to lives and most of our employees are back to work,” he added.
Out of the 100 patients admitted to Sir J.J. Hospital, 78 have been discharged.
“Only 18 patients have been kept under observation today (Thursday),” said T.P. Lahane, the dean of the hospital. More than 100 people had taken ill after chlorine gas leaked early Wednesday at the MPT scrapyard. The gas leak was noticed around 3.30 a.m. when people in the area started complaining of burning eyes, breathlessness and nausea.
A total of 141 cylinders, of which 136 were empty, were lying in open for nearly 14 years in the scrapyard. The cylinders were imported in 1997, but the importers had not taken delivery of the consignment.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police Thursday registered a case against “unknown persons” in connection with the chlorine gas leak at the Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) premises that led to 100 people falling sick.
“A First Information Report (FIR) under the Environment Protection Act has been registered against unknown persons. Probe is on in the matter,” said senior police inspector Rajan Bhogale of the Sewree Police Station, where the FIR has been registered.
“The charges included in the FIR are attempt to commit culpable homicide and negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance amongst others,” he added. Efforts are still on to reduce the effect of the gas leak. “Around 14 tonnes of caustic soda and four tonnes of water have been used to lessen the effect,” a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official told reporters here Thursday.
At least 92 people, many of them students, were taken ill after chlorine gas leaked early Wednesday at the MPT scrapyard.
According to a fire brigade official, the gas leak was noticed around 3.30 a.m. when people in the area started complaining of burning eyes, breathlessness and nausea. An MPT spokesperson added that 141 cylinders were imported in 1997, but the importers had not taken delivery of the consignment; this had been lying in the open for nearly 14 years.
Only five cylinders had gas while 136 were empty, the official added.
Besides the MPT officials, experts from the Maharashtra Disaster Management Authority, the state-run Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers and the semi-government Century Rayon companies are assisting in the relief operations.

 
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