2020 Sitapur gas leak: Deaths due to inhaling toxic fumes from insecticide Lindane, says report

Seven people, including three children, had died after inhaling fumes seeping from the pipeline of a chemical factory in Biswan of Sitapur in February 2020. The deceased were sleeping inside a carpet factory adjacent to the chemical factory.
A field epidemiological investigation has confirmed the cause of deaths in Sitapur due to inhaling fumes from a chemical named Lindane that is generally used as agricultural insecticide. (File photo)
A field epidemiological investigation has confirmed the cause of deaths in Sitapur due to inhaling fumes from a chemical named Lindane that is generally used as agricultural insecticide. (File photo)
Published on Jun 21, 2022 09:52 PM IST
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By, Lucknow

Two years after seven people, including three children, died in Sitapur in February 2020 after allegedly inhaling poisonous gas leaking from a chemical factory, a field epidemiological investigation has confirmed the cause of deaths due to inhaling fumes from a chemical named Lindane that is generally used as agricultural insecticide.

According to the epidemiological investigation jointly conducted by ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, department of health and family welfare, UP and CSIR-IITR, Lucknow the cause of death was due to asphyxia following the leakage of toxic fumes from Lindane that was stored in the chemical factory.

However, the cause of leakage from the chemical factory is still unknown as per the study.

To note, seven people, including three children, had died after inhaling fumes seeping from the pipeline of a chemical factory in Biswan of Sitapur. The deceased, hailing from Kanpur, were those sleeping inside a carpet factory adjacent to the chemical factory.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had taken note of the accident and instructed officials to monitor the situation.

The report said as per toxicology analysis it was confirmed that the leaked chemical was Lindane (gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane). The toxicological analysis revealed the presence of Lindane in excessive quantities in water (0.461– 0.500 μg/L) and soil (1.030–2.100 μg/L) in the area.

“A case search from house-to-house was conducted and calculated the attack rate (AR) and case-fatality rate (CFR) based on gender and age. At the leakage site, we conducted an environmental investigation and sent the substances for forensic analysis,” said the report.

“We detected 23 cases and seven deaths among 2,942 inhabitants. The case’s median age was 42 years (range, 2-64 years). AR was also discovered to be greater in males than in women. It was also found that all 23 case-patients who were sleeping or visiting the chemical leakage site had symptoms, and all seven cases who were sleeping within 150 metres of the leakage site died,” the report said.

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