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Gas leak in Mumbai; 103 fall sick, probe ordered

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 17:30

Mumbai: Nearly 103 persons fell sick
early today after inhaling chlorine gas leaking from a
cylinder stored in Bombay Port Trust (BPT) premises at Sewri
prompting BPT, police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
to begin a joint probe into the incident.

All the affected persons were taken to King Edward
Memorial hospital, JJ hospital and BPT hospital, police and
fire brigade sources said, adding, they included college
students, BPT staff and firemen.

The condition of eight persons at JJ hospital was
said to be critical. However, there are no casualties
so far, Dean of JJ hospital T P Lahane told reporters.

Some of the affected persons were discharged after
getting treatment. Currently, 78 persons are recuperating out
of which eight are in the Critical Care Unit due to
respiratory problems and 14 in Medical Intensive Unit for
throat problems, Lahane said.

"Due to intake of chlorine gas patients have developed
breathlessness and are facing burning sensation in eyes, on
face and hands", the JJ Hospital Dean added.

The fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot to plug
the leakage. Four fire officers took ill after inhaling the
gas and were taken to hospital for treatment.

The gas leakage was reported at 0315 hours from BPT
premises located near Lal Bahadur Shastri college of Maritime
and Research Studies, a fire brigade official said.

Maharashtra Health Minister Vijay Kumar Gavit and
Mayor Shraddha Jadhav visited the affected area.

The Mayor told reporters that three agencies --
Police, BMC and BPT are jointly conducting a probe into the
gas leak.

She said according to preliminary reports the gas
apparently leaked from one of the 100 cylinders stored in the
BPT premises.

The cylinders had been seized by Customs almost a
decade ago and have been lying in the BPT premises since
then, she said.

The Mayor said experts from Pune had been summoned to
plug the leakage and take precautionary measures. People
residing in and around the area have been evacuated as a
precautionary measure.

Last July, 12 villagers took ill due to chlorine gas
leak from an abandoned cylinder from three villages of
Bhiwandi in nearby Thane district.


First Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 17:30

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