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Chemical analysis finds no gas trace

IN CHEMICAL analysis, no detectable trace of any suspected gas in the air samples collected from three villages in Raisen district was found. The MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) carried out the chemical analysis.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 18:30 IST

IN CHEMICAL analysis, no detectable trace of any suspected gas in the air samples collected from three villages in Raisen district was found. The MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) carried out the chemical analysis.

The MPPCB actually seems to be at a loss to understand the nature and source of the gas. The authorities are not able to decide probable action that can be taken to crack the mystery as the gas that hit the villages had actually diluted within an hour of incident on Saturday evening and any direct action to collect evidence is not possible, MPPCB sources said.

“There are no detectable traces of ammonia, chlorine or any compound related to tear gas (o-chlorobenzylidene malonitrile – commonly known as CS) in the air samples collected from the village,’’ MPPCB member-secretary B K Singh told the Hindustan Times.

The member-secretary said based on the clinical symptoms of the villagers, who were affected – one of these three gases was suspected to be the culprits, but none of these was found in any detectable amount in the samples.

The MPPCB team collected samples more than three hours after the suspected poisonous gas affected Kiratpur, Mendua and Nayapura villages on Saturday evening. The samples taken between 9.00 and 10.00 pm on Saturday night were analysed in details over two days.

However, the samples have yielded no results as per the pollution control authorities and the nature and the source of the gas still remain a mystery. The PCB had already said the industrial units at Mandideep that had been thoroughly inspected on Sunday and Monday were clean prima facie. It was learnt that the detailed unit-wise reports also gave them a clean chit. However, the member-secretary said that the detailed reports are in last stages of compilation and would now be submitted

to the PD Meena Committee that began the inquiry on Tuesday. He said now that the inquiry has been launched and the MPPCB is supposed to assist the high-level committee, the detailed reports would be submitted to the committee, which would use them to draw conclusions.

The MPPCB team had also inspected the RAF camp from where tear gas could have probably leaked on Monday and the detailed report of this inspection was also to be submitted to Meena Committee.

INDUSTRIAL SAFETY DIRECTORATE RULES OUT: The Directorate of Industrial Health and Safety that has also been inspecting the industrial units at Mandideep has also more or less ruled out that the suspected poisonous gas could have been emitted from any of the units. Indore-based director of the department N K Jain who was in Bhopal on Tuesday and visited some of the industries, told Hindustan Times that quite detailed investigations were conducted but there are no indications to suggest any emissions.

“If there were emissions from any of the industries the workers there and in surrounding units would have been first to be affected,’’ Jain said, adding that repeated queries with workers yielded nothing of the sort. He added that some more units that do not have any chances of storing or using any of the chemicals would also be inspected in next few days so as to leave no doubts and then the final report would be shared with the PD Meena Committee.

MEENA BEGINS INQUIRY: The one-man high-level committee of Principal Secretary, Housing and Environment Department, PD Meena began the probe on Tuesday. The PS, accompanied by the MPPCB team visited the affected villages of Kiratpura and Mendua. The PS remained in the villages for three hours and held detailed discussions with the villagers regarding the incident.