40 hospitalised after chlorine gas leak from waterworks in Panchkula
All safe: All but a woman, girl discharged, the two put on oxygen as precaution, say docspunjab Updated: Dec 19, 2017 09:51 IST
Forty people were hospitalised after chlorine gas leaked from the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA)’s waterworks facility in Rajiv Colony near Sector 17 here on Monday evening.
Panic spread after the victims, including women and children, complained of nausea. While 15 were rushed to the government hospital in Sector 6 here, 15 were taken to the Manimajra civil hospital and 10 reached Government Multi Specialty Hospital in Sector 16, Chandigarh.
Barring two patients, a woman and a girl, all have been discharged after medication. “Two patients have been put on oxygen as a precautionary measure,” said Dr Sanjeev Trehan, principal medical officer at the Panchkula hospital. “Otherwise they are out of danger and will be discharged soon.”
Most of the patients were labourers and their family members living near the waterworks in Rajiv and Indira colonies. Janki, a patient, said she was working at home when suddenly she felt irritation in her eyes. A moment later, she felt dizzy and started vomiting. Several patients complained no administrative official came to their rescue and others in the neighbourhood took them to hospitals.
Cylinder disposed of in Ghaggar
The security guard at the waterworks spotted the gas leak, but when the cylinder was being loaded on to a vehicle, the gas spread in the neighbourhood.
HUDA executive engineer NK Payal said the situation was brought under control after the cylinder was disposed of in the Ghaggar. The cylinder was lying at the waterworks for many days and had around 3-kg gas in it. “We are trying to find how the gas leaked,” said Payal.
Chlorination is carried out to remove impurities from drinking water. It is done in two ways: gas-based or liquid-based.
The latter is not harmful. Payal said they are phasing out gas-based chlorination. “We had a few cylinders in stock that have been consumed now,” he said.
Meanwhile, Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta, who met the patients, said HUDA should penalise the agency that supplied the cylinder. He said the patients are stable but HUDA should ensure that such incidents are not repeated.