Poison in the air

Published: Thursday 30 November 2000

chlorine gas leaked from a chemical factory at Udumalpet in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu recently. This led to at least 351 people, including 197 women and children, suffering from vomiting and eye irritation. Police officials believe that the gas leaked when the chemicals produced in the factory were being loaded in a tanker.

A similar incident also took place in the port city of Paradeep, Orissa. Ammonia gas leaked from Oswal Chemical Fertiliser plant. This caused panic among the citizens of the areas surrounding the factory. A large number of residents fled to safer places, according to witnesses. A fact finding team of the Orissa Nagarika Mancha (citizen's forum) said that about 15,000 people of eight villages were affected by the gas leak. The chemical plant will be directed to take safety measures.

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