Gas leak in Mumbai; 103 fall sick, probe ordered
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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.

PTI


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


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