Kochi: Four days after Ammonia gas got leaked from a storage tank of Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) in Wellingdon Island here, a similar incident was again reported in the wee hours of Tuesday, spreading panic in the region. The fresh leakage was reported at 1.30 am while the liquefied Ammonia was being transferred from the tanker involved in the earlier accident to the storage facility. “However, it was only a minor leakage this time around and detected immediately. The chemical vapours were knocked down through incessant pumping of water from fire tenders,” a senior police officer said.
As the news spread, the residents were in a state of panic. The Port Trust Kendriya Vidyalaya declared a holiday for its KG section. Meanwhile, a FACT spokesperson said all safety measures were in place before the transferring process was initiated. “The leak was plugged within minutes and the transferring process was completed in another four hours,” he said.
The initial leakage happened around one pm on Saturday last when a tanker was being filled from the ammonia storage tank. At least 14 persons were hospitalized following the leakage. A subsequent probe found the leakage occurred when driver of the tanker inadvertently moved the vehicle forward, damaging the nozzle. The cops lodged a case against the driver and a few others for negligent handling of hazardous substance that endangered human life.