At least 300 Delhi students fall ill after toxic gas leak; government orders probe

While investigation is on to find the cause of leakage, police have assured legal action against handlers

By Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Monday 08 May 2017 | 08:49:46 AM
Students and teachers were rushed to nearby hospitals. Credit: Bhaskarjyoti Goswami / CSE
Students and teachers were rushed to nearby hospitals. Credit: Bhaskarjyoti Goswami / CSE Students and teachers were rushed to nearby hospitals. Credit: Bhaskarjyoti Goswami / CSE

Students and teachers were rushed to nearby hospitals. Credit: Vikas Choudhary / CSESaturday morning started on a sour note for at least 300 girl students in Tughlakabad area as gas leak from a container depot near their schools left them with irritation in eyes and breathlessness. They were rushed to different hospitals in South Delhi when they complained about dizziness and headache.

These students from Rani Jhansi Sarvoday Kanya Vidyalay and Government Girls Senior Secondary School Number 2 were sent to four nearby hospitals: Batra Hospital, Apollo Hospital, Majeedia Hospital and ESI Hospital.

Noxious fumes, that emerged from the container, led to throat and eye irritation. According to media reports, at least two dozen students fainted following the incident. As many as nine teachers were reportedly admitted to the hospitals.

The leaked chemical, according to reports, was imported from China and was to be taken to Sonepat in Haryana.

Romil Baaniya, deputy commissioner of police, said that a legal action will be initiated against the handlers for negligence.

A senior police officer, who has been privy to developments, said that the students were treated for Chloromethyl Pyridine exposure. The chemical is used to produce insecticides and pesticides. Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe to understand how the chemical leaked.

Calling it “a man-made disaster”, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal demanded immediate removal of the container from the spot and questioned the need for a container depot in the heart of Delhi.

After visiting these hospitals, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, said that students are normal. He also added that a team of doctors is on alert in case of any emergency.

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda said that the central government hospitals have been instructed to be ready to help all victims of Delhi gas leak incident.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited  the Majeedia Hospital.

The schools in the area were closed for the day and all examinations were cancelled.

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IEP Resources:

Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding silicosis-affected workers of quartz crushing factories of Godhra and Balasinor, Gujarat, 01/05/2017

Judgement of the National Green Tribunal regarding pollution caused by Nitta Gelatin India Ltd. to Chalakkudy river, Thrissur District, Kerala, 27/02/2017

Health effects of the toxic gas leak from Union Carbide methyl isocyanate plant in Bhopal: technical report on pathology and toxicology

Contamination of soil and water inside and outside the Union Carbide India Limited, Bhopal

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