At least 200 girls were rushed to a hospital from their school on Saturday morning in Delhi’s Tughlakabad after a gas leak from a nearby container depot left some of them unconscious and others with nausea and irritation in eyes.
Around 100 students were admitted to the Majeedia Hospital and 62 at Batra Hospital, in addition to smaller groups that were sent to other medical facilities, Harshvardhan, the additional DCP of Southeast district said.
The students were in their classrooms at the Rani Jhansi school, close to the Tughalakabad container depot from where the chemical leak is suspected to have been originated, when they started showing symptoms.
Initial information from officials had suggested that the number of girls affected were around 100.
Emergency calls were received by the Fire department around 7.35am.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted hours later, saying that he has asked for a magisterial inquiry into the incident. “I spoke to the girls and the doctors, the condition of the students is normal,” he said, after visiting the hospitals the schoolkids were taken to.
“We immediately rushed two fire tenders, one Hazmat (hazardous materials) van along with a breathing set van, and rescue teams to the incident spot. Students and staff members of Rani Jhansi School were evacuated and the entire area was cordoned off,” said Atul Garg, chief fire officer, Delhi Fire Services (DFS).
Romil Baaniya, deputy commissioner of police (southeast district), said the leak originated in a truck at the customs area. “The local police team along with teams of NDRF, fire, and CATS ambulance reached the spots and rescued the schoolgirls who were affected,” said Baaniya.
Officials from Delhi Police and the National Disaster Response Force were attempting to identify the chemical and how it leaked.
It was unclear if the truck was inside the container depot or the driver had begun to drive away with the leak, said a fire official.
Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal also visited the hospitals where the children were being treated.