At least 10 persons who fell seriously ill following the leakage of a poisonous gas at a pharmaceutical factory at Sandila in Hardoi district on Saturday morning have been admitted in the Trauma Centre of the CSM Medical University. One person was declared dead on arrival at the Centre.
Three of the admitted patients are critical and are on life-support system while the others are undergoing treatment in the emergency ward. The patients were rushed to the Centre with severe respiratory distress.
The factory releases the gas every night around this time, said Uttam Gupta,son of Sriram Gupta,who was brought dead. Just the quantity of the gas was more this night. We fight with factory people every day, said Gupta who lives nearby.
According to witnesses,the gas leak took place around 1.15 am in the Amit Hetrochem Lab (I) Limited,on Saturday.
We were woken up from sleep by a strong smell of something burning. Soon,we started feeling uneasy and had difficulty in breathing. Our throats got choked and there was burning sensation in the eyes, said S S Tiwari,who along with his wife and children ran out of the house which is around 500 metre from the factory. His wife Ranju is among the 10 admitted in the Trauma Center.
Dr Avinash Agarwal,Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine,under whom the patients are being treated,said the incident appears to have been caused by leakage of phosgene,a very poisonous gas which affects lungs,causing severe respiratory distress. It is known as a chemical weapon as well. The gas prevents oxygen uptake in human body at the cellular level, he said.
The three persons who are on life-support are 23-year-old Meera and 18-year-old Sandeep Gupta at the Trauma Ventilator Unit,and Pramod Shukla at the medical ICU.
Another patient,28-year-old Raju,is also serious,and two other patients,Narendra Kumar and Shailendra Kumar,may also need ventilator support,said Dr Agarwal.
We have limited ventilator facility at CSMMU and have already talked to SGPGI for shifting patients if necessary, he said.