Four firemen were admitted to the hospital on Wednesday after they developed skin rashes while trying to control a chlorine gas cylinder leakage inside a goods carrier company in Sector 26.
The four fire personnel – Jaspal Singh, Raj Kumar, Naveen and Varinder – were admitted to the Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH) in Sector 16.
The condition of the victims are said to be stable. “All of them were admitted to the hospital with skin rashes and they are currently stable,” said a GMSH doctor.
According to the fire officials, they received a call at 10.19am from the employees of a transport company (Kamal Goods Carrier) in Sector 26, following which emergency fire tenders were rushed to the spot to control the leakage. “We sent several fire tenders to the spot from Manimajra, Industrial Area Phase 1 and Sector 32 fire station,” said an official.
The firemen took an hour to dilute the leakage by putting the cylinder in a pit filled with water.
Soon after the incident, health officials rushed to the spot. Disaster management teams were also called to the spot. The godown and the nearby shops were sealed by the police and no one was allowed inside.
The company officials said the cylinder was to be shipped in Chandigarh. “When we came to the office in the morning, there was smell of chlorine everywhere. We immediately called up the fire station,” said Narender, an employee with the company.
Meanwhile, the health officials raised questions about how the company owner kept the cylinder without any safety measure. “It was leaked from the bottom and not through the valve. The cylinder was in a rusted condition. It could have led to a major accident,” said a health official present on the spot. “This gas has neurotoxicity and it has dizziness effects.”
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The police on Wednesday said they are verifying if the transport owner had the license to keep such cylinder. “We are verifying it (license) and then legal action would be taken,” said ASP (East) Guriqbal Singh Sidhu.