news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute| August 7, 2014| 6.30 pm IST Around 70 students of a government school in Kerala were hospitalised following a gas leak from the Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd plant in Chavara on Thursday morning. Some of the children were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit after they complained of breathing problems and nausea. Strangely, a gas leak had occurred at the same plant on Wednesday, following which 40 students from Government HSS, Sankaramangalam were hospitalised. The government had asked the plant to stop operations after Wednesday’s leak. On Wednesday, the KMML managing director P Michael Vetha Siromony in a statement said that the gas, spread in ‘limited quantity’ while preparations were being done to start the chlorinator. The gas according to him was formed while burning petroleum coke and the leak was immediately sealed. But on Thursday, the plant management informed the government that reports of a new gas leak was flummoxing as the plant was not operational. Following this Kerala Labour Minister Shibu Baby John convened a meeting which later decided that an enquiry team lead by ADGP Hemachandran will look into the incident. The minister has out forward some theories- 1. Why was there a leak? And how were two schools affected on Thursday- one which is 2 kms away? 2. If the company was not functioning, then how did the new gas leak happen? 3. Was the company functioning without informing authorities or was this sabotage? 4. With a court all set to hear a petition demanding the company should be shut down for not treating effluents, was this way to discredit the company further? Meanwhile agitated locals demanded the company be shut down permanently. Two people were injured in a lathicharge by the police.

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