JOHOR BARU, March 10 — The Fire and Rescue Department of Johor are expected to take samples of patches of black oil which are believed to be the remnants of a chemical waste which was dumped into the KimKim River, on Thursday.
It is understood, the department was discussing with the residents of Kampung Bukit Pulai, Pasir Putih, near Pasir Gudang, to enable the former to collect the samples which had just been reported by members of the public at a nearby area, early today.
Johor Hazardous Materials and Waste Management (Hazmat) Unit chief-cum-Tebrau Fire and Rescue Station head Saiful Bahri Safar said the patches were reported to be detected about a kilometre from where the chemical waste was dumped.
“We believe the patches are the chemical waste in the KimKim River which had slipped into the interior before the oil booms were installed on Thursday.
“Right now, we are discussing with the residents to go there because only they know the location and the route to the place. In addition, only suitable fishing boats can enter the route,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
The dumping of chemical waste in the river on Thursday resulted in two schools nearby, namely, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Pasir Putih and Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Pasir Puteh being closed on the same day due to air pollution.
Meanwhile, the number of people who had sniffed the gas from the chemical waste dumped into the KimKim River had gone up to 82 people this afternoon compared to 79 last night.
State Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal said 23 people had been given outpatient treatments and 59 others were treated at the Sultan Ismail Hospital since the incident was reported.
“Of the 59 people, 34 were allowed to go home while 25 are still undergoing treatment,” he said in a statement here today.
Dr Sahruddin said 18 people were placed in ordinary wards while seven were being treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“Of those in the ICU, one has to use intubate while the rest are under observation. All are stable,” he said. — Bernama