Johor PAS urges state to declare emergency in Pasir Gudang

Since yesterday, a total of 506 victims have sought medical treatment due to the toxic fumes. — Picture by Ben Tan
Since yesterday, a total of 506 victims have sought medical treatment due to the toxic fumes. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, March 14 — The Johor government should declare a state of emergency in Pasir Gudang in order to contain the area's chemical contamination, said the state chapter of PAS.

Johor PAS commissioner Abdullah Husin said the Islamist party felt the state administration was not giving the matter the necessary urgency.

“Although the statement by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian late yesterday afternoon said that the situation was still under control, the Johor PAS liaison body found the situation to be increasingly disturbing as there are still residents being rushed to treatment centres,” Abdullah said in a statement today.

Abdullah said Johor PAS was closely following issues faced by the Pasir Gudang residents involving the pollution caused by the illegally dumped chemical waste.

“Hundreds of residents had to be treated at the Taman Pasir Putih community centre and some had to be taken to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) and the Sultan Ismail Hospital (HSI), where most cases involved school students who are believed have inhaled harmful chemical gases,” he said.

Yesterday, Osman told a press conference that the situation along Sungai Kim Kim was under control, adding that there was no need to evacuate the area or move residents living along the river.

“We expect that the worst is over. In fact, there has not been any death in relation to the incident and the situation is not one that warrants a state of emergency,” said Osman after chairing the state disaster management committee meeting.

Since yesterday, a total of 506 victims have sought medical treatment out of which nine were admitted into the intensive care unit.

At the same time, all 111 schools in Pasir Gudang have been ordered to close today until further notice, due to the hazardous fumes.

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