Gas leak in Tughlakabad: Over 300 students were taken to hospital

A part of Delhi in area of Tughlakabad had a nightmarish experience on morning of 5th May, where they were exposed to toxic fumes of chemicals. It has led to the hospitalization of residents of the area, students and teachers of the Rani Jhansi Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya and Senior Kanya Vidyalaya. The major implications have been on the student of the schools as the source of the toxic fumes was in the proximity of the schools, stationed in railway colony.  This was visible when around 300 students were taken to hospital for the treatment in different hospitals of the vicinity such ESIC, Batra, Majithia, Apollo and even to the AIIMS trauma centre with the symptom nausea and burning sensations in the eyes.

The commotion was caused due to the leakage of hazardous chemical named Chloromethyl Pyridine, mostly used for the generation of insecticides and pesticides. Taking in view the sensitivity of the situation, the area was cordoned off by the team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) who were rushed to the spot after the incident. This incident of Gas Leak was first reported at around 7.35 am to the police. The chemical has industrial usage and was brought into India from China that too by road. The chemical stuffed in drum and was laden on truck and was bound for a factory in Sonipat, Haryana. The spillage is also attributed to improper sealing of the barrels and delinquency.

Romil Baniya, DCP South East stated that ‘‘legal action would be taken against the incident as this was a case of negligence’. Police have also registered a case under sections 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health), 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 337 (causing hurt) of IPC against unidentified people.

Taking cognizance of the incident the Centre has also stepped in whereby the Union Health Minister JP Nadda has urged the hospitals in the Capital that are run by Central Government to assist those who are affected by it. Following the incident, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal and the leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta visited the hospitals where the students are treated. The District Magistrate BS Jaglan had also made field trip of the area.

The deputy CM of NCT, Manish Sisodia, who also holds the portfolio of Education, viewing the gravity of the situation have asked the area district magistrate and SDM to initiate a probe into the incident of gas leak.