Delhi gas leak: Disaster team visits Tughlakabad spill site, checks if locality is still safe for residents
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Tuesday visited the chemical spill site in southeast Delhi’s Tughlaqabad to find out if there are any contamination traces. The area was found to be safe.Breathless in Delhi Updated: May 09, 2017 23:49 IST
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Tuesday visited the chemical spill site in southeast Delhi’s Tughlaqabad to find out if there are any contamination traces. The area was found to be safe.
According to an NDRF official, the team reached the spill site at 8am. “The team went and checked if there was any chemical residue left, which can be harmful. However, nothing of that sort has been found. The spill, which was contained with salt and sand, has been disposed off on Saturday itself,” the official told HT.
Around 475 schoolchildren were hospitalised on Saturday after inhaling poisonous fumes that spread due to a chemical leak at a container depot near two schools in the area. The students complained of irritation in eyes, breathlessness, nausea and severe headache.
The NDRF’s Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) team is equipped with special gear to tackle such situations.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has already started a probe while the National Green Tribunal on Monday sent a showcause notice to the Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) on why it should not be shifted to some other place.
Delhi Police have also issued notices to the companies involved in the transportation of the container, the customs department and CONCOR.
“We have asked them to submit a list of the agreements and documents regarding the transportation of the container and what it contained. The investigation will focus on finding out where the lapse took place and the agency responsible for it,” an official said. The leakage might have occurred because of the containers not being properly sealed after being checked, he added.
The liquid chemical, which has been identified as chloromethylpyridine, is believed to have leaked from a couple of broken barrels inside an iron container, which was kept in the depot overnight before being transported to Sonepat in Haryana early on Saturday. This chemical is used in fertilizers, insecticides and certain drugs, and is a known eye and respiratory irritant.
In December 1984, a similar gas leak at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal — which also produced pesticides — had left thousands of people dead and many more maimed for life.