Gas leakage: 30 kids hospitalised in Kochi

Foul odour was due to sulphur dioxide transfer, says Kochi Refinery

Kochi: Thirty students of the Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Kuzhikadu Ambalamugal near here were admitted to various hospitals following suspected gas leakage from Kochi Refineries on Thursday morning. Two have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit but the other 28 students have been discharged. The condition of Nithina Shivan and Rashmi, students of ninth standard, is non-critical but under observation, said district collector Muhammad Y Safirulla.

“The 28 students have no health issues now,” the collector added. Two teachers, Sreekumar and Geetha, were also admitted to a private hospital after complaining of suffocation. The school authorities and parents said that after inhaling some strange gas that came from the Kochi Refineries which is close by, the students experienced suffocation, had nausea and headache. Though it was mild initially, the foul smell increased and some students started vomiting following which they were taken to hospitals.

Six students were admitted to a General hospital at Thripunithura while the others were taken to a private hospital. When the school authorities took up the matter with BPCL officials, the latter said that the foul odour was due to the transfer of sulphur dioxide to a chamber. Soon after the incident was reported, district collector, district medical officer and other top officials reached the site and reviewed the situation. He convened an emergency meeting at the school which was attended by people’s representatives and senior officials from BPCL.

Panicked parents were seen rushing to the school. “It is not the first time that such an incident is being reported. Students often complain of headache due to foul smell from industrial units nearby,” said a parent. According to the medical team, the gas can be identified only after a detailed investigation. It has been decided to identify the source of leakage with the help of experts from the Factories and Boilers department and also to close the school for a couple of days.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story