DTE Ground Report: How toxic industrial gas killed 11 people in just 15 minutes in Ludhiana

Down To Earth reports from ground zero in Ludhiana’s Giaspura and goes behind the scenes to find out how the city manages its water, waste and industrial pollution

By Joel Michael
Published: Saturday 03 June 2023

On April 30, 2023, 11 people dropped dead in just 15 minutes in Ludhiana’s Giaspura. Authorities suspect that gas leaked from open sewers after high levels of toxic gas was detected in this area, surrounded by industries.

But when Down To Earth’s team reached Ludhiana, we realised this incident was just a wake-up call. The real issue is much bigger and affects communities at large.

There are two theories of what must have happened. One is that the industries could have dumped some chemicals into the domestic sewer line that then mixed with H2S to form a toxic gas.

The other theory is that the sewers were not cleaned or not cleaned properly. But the problem that we see is not restricted to Giaspura alone. This is related to how the city manages its water, waste and industrial pollution.

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