The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon at Kochi’s Willingdon Island and did not result in any loss of life.

 Kochi ammonia Leak Police claim human error book tanker driver for negligenceRepresentational image: Aswin Krishna Poyil via Wikimedia Commons
news Accident Monday, January 29, 2018 - 15:59

An accident at a fertilisers factory in Kochi’s Willingdon Island on Saturday resulted in a panic, but the situation was soon brought under control. Now, the police have investigated the case, and have blamed it on human error.

Ammonia gas leaked into the air at the Fertilisers And Chemicals Travancore factory in the city, during a transfer of the chemical from the factory to a tanker for transport. A faulty nozzle in the tanker had earlier been identified as the source of the leak. However, police now claim that negligence on part of the tanker driver caused the leak.

"The tanker capsule was being filled when the accident occurred. The driver overheard a direction given to another vehicle to take it out of the filling point. The driver, confused, took it to mean his own vehicle which was being filled and moved forward. The valve got disconnected, leading to the massive leakage,'' a senior police officer said.

A case has been registered in the Kochi Harbor police station.

“We have registered a case against the tanker driver under IPC 284 (Negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), IPC 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) and IPC 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention),” an official told TNM.

Cops have said that the investigation is still in progress. “The vehicle is under Kerala registration but it is yet to be brought to the police station. More details can be revealed only after further investigation,” added the official.

Meanwhile earlier reports suggest that students who went to schools close by, complained of breathing problems and 14 people were rushed to nearby hospitals and later discharged.

Reports also added that Sethu Nandan, who made an effort to seal the leak, was admitted with 2% burns, while CISF constable Jacquard was shifted to the hospital after experiencing nausea and shivering, due to the incident.

A disaster management authority team, led by Deputy Collector Sheela Devi, held a meeting with officials of the company in the wake of the incident.

 

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