Johor chemical waste inhalation: 31 victims still in hospital

Rescue personnel rendering immediate emergency assistance to the students who had vomited due to methane gas inhalation in Pasir Gudang two days ago. — Picture courtesy of the Johor Fire and Rescue Department
Rescue personnel rendering immediate emergency assistance to the students who had vomited due to methane gas inhalation in Pasir Gudang two days ago. — Picture courtesy of the Johor Fire and Rescue Department

JOHOR BARU, March 9 ― The number of people who sought treatment for inhaling poisonous gas that was emitted by chemical waste in Sungai Kim Kim near Pasir Gudang has increased to 79 as of 9.30pm yesterday.

Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal said 47 of them were warded at the Sultan Ismail Hospital, while 32 others given out-patient treatment at the same hospital.

“Of the 47 warded, 16 of them have been allowed to return home, while the remaining 31, included six at the Intensive Care Unit, but their condition was reported to be stable,” he told reporters at a gotong-royong programme to fight aedes in Taman Kota Masai here today.

He said the 31 patients in hospital comprised two children, 15 students and 14 adults, including three medical workers.

The Johor Baru district disaster committee held a meeting last night to discuss the incident.

Dr Sahruddin, who chaired the meeting, said work to clean the effluents would be carried out soon along the 1.3 kilometre stretch of Sungai Kim Kim.

He said a contractor would be appointed to carry out the work.

“The main location of the chemical waste dumping has been cleaned, while cleaning of the remaining effluents stretching 1.3 kilometre downstream will be carried out soon,” he added.

Two days ago, 1,400 students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pasir Putih and Sekolah Kebangsaan  Pasir Putih were ordered to vacate their school premises after some students complained of breathing difficulties and vomiting, believed due to inhalation of the gas emitted by the chemical wastes that were dumped into Sungai Kim Kim. ― Bernama

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