Toxic gas leake toll rises to 8

February 18, 2020

KARACHI: Health and environment authorities investigating the lethal gas leakage in Keamari on Monday suspected that Hydrogen Sulphide, a highly poisonous gas that is a byproduct of crude oil and...

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KARACHI: Health and environment authorities investigating the lethal gas leakage in Keamari on Monday suspected that Hydrogen Sulphide, a highly poisonous gas that is a byproduct of crude oil and also generates in sewerage system, could be the probable cause of gas poisoning in the Railway Colony in the vicinity of Keamari on Sunday and Monday nights that killed eight people and hospitalised over 130 people.

Dozens of people were moved again to public and private hospitals on Monday night at around 9pm when people once again claimed itching in eyes, problems in breathing and tightness in chest while Sindh health department officials confirmed that at least one person had died due to suspected gas poisoning on Monday night at a private hospital in the city, who was brought from the Keamari area. Overall, three more deaths occurred on Monday.

“Hydrogen Sulphide could be the probable cause of gas poisoning in the Keamari area of the city adjacent to Karachi port where some have unfortunately died and dozens were hospitalized on Sunday night. So far, our investigation is inconclusive but our teams are working on it and we have also sought professional assistance from a private firm to help in the investigation,” Sindh Adviser on Environment Barrister Murtaza Wahab told The News on Monday.

The Sindh government officials claimed that the provincial environmental watchdog, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), was not allowed to monitor facilities at the Karachi Port, which is managed by the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Pakistan Navy as these authorities believe they are only governed by the federal environmental laws.

An atmosphere of fear and panic had gripped the entire Keamari area on Monday where people including children were seen wearing face masks, which are ineffective against poisonous gasses, while many people said they had moved their families, including women and children, to other city areas away from the port to protect them from the deadly toxic gas, which could be felt in the air even on Monday afternoon.

A team of investigators from the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) had rushed to the Keamari area near Karachi Port after people from its Massan Road and Railway Colony complained of burning and irritation in eyes, cough with problems in breathing and cramps in abdomen on Sunday night, who were rushed to the Ziauddin Hospital in Keamari as well as the KPT Hospital in the area.



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