Gujarat: Gas leak kills 3 workers at Ankleshwar pharmaceutical factory, two critical

Five labourers were working near the scrubber tank containing sodium bromide and hydro chloric acid gas, meant to carry out chemical tests.

By: Express News Service | Surat | Published:December 11, 2015 3:46 am

Three workers of a chemical manufacturing company were killed on the spot and two others are reported critical after inhaling a poisonous gas in a factory premises in the industrial area of Ankleshwar town Thursday morning, police said.

The gas leakage occurred in a scrubber tank (storage tank) of Shree Ganesh Remedies Company, which produces pharmaceutical ingredients and pigments, at Ankleshwar GIDC on Thursday morning. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) officials rushed to the spot after learning about the incident and have started probe.

Five labourers were working near the scrubber tank containing sodium bromide and hydro chloric acid gas, meant to carry out chemical tests. The accident occurred when the labourers were changing the bottom pipes in the tank. They inhaled the toxic gas emanated from the tanker’s chamber and became unconscious. sources said.

The incident came into light when the night shift in-charge, made a routine check-up of the plant. On finding five labourers lying down and the gas leak, he immediately stopped the process going on in the chamber and also alerted the factory owner C M Kothiya, who is also vice-president of Ankleshwar Industrial Association.

All the affected labourers were immediately rushed to A K Patel Hospital in Ankleshwar. While three of the labourers were declared brought dead by the doctors, the condition of two others are reported to be critical. The deceased have been identified as Raja Yadav (26), Satyendra Yadav (22), Raju Prajapati (24), all residents of Ankleshwar, while two others under critical situation are identified as Kiran Chuahan and Suresh Maurya.

The GPCB officials, along with District Industrial Safety and Health officials, and police reached the spot after learning about the incident and started probe into it. The GPCB officials also collected samples from the scrubber tank for lab test.

“We have lodged a complaint in this regard and started investigation as to how the gas leaked. We have also informed government officials concerned about the incident,” said Inspector P L Chaudhari.

GPCB regional officer A V Shah said, “At present it is difficult to say anything, but we suspect that due to the leakage of sodium bromide gas and hydrochloric acid gas, the casualties had taken place. We have started probe to find out more into the incident. Production in the factory has been stopped.”

This is the second such incident in this industrial hub in the recent past. On Monday, two workers had died while handling chemical waste at the premises of a company.

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