NEW DELHI: At least 300 schoolgirls were hospitalised in the Indian capital Delhi on Saturday after a gas leak from a container depot, police said.
The students of Rani Jhansi School and Government Girls Senior Secondary School in southeast Delhi’s Tughlakabad area were rushed to nearby hospitals as they complained of irritation in eyes and breathlessness.
According to police, 310 students have received treatment in hospitals. As many as 107 students were admitted in Majithia Hospital and 62 in Batra Hospital.
The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. Police have registered an FIR in the matter under various sections of IPC and the Environment (Protection) Act, the Times of India reported.
The gas is believed to be chloromethyl pyridine, a chemical used to manufacture pesticides and insecticides.
While the school in the Tughlakabad area was fully vacated, the children are not believed to be at serious risk.
Delhi Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg said two fire engines, a hazmat (hazardous materials) van and rescue teams had been sent to the government-run girls’ school. “Students and staff members of Rani Jhansi school were evacuated, and the entire area has been cordoned off,” he said.
Delhi Police and India’s National Disaster Response Force are working to identify the chemical, and how it leaked.
According to the police, a call was received at 7:35am about some chemical leakage at customs area of Tughlakabad depot, which is located near the schools.
The chemical in the container was imported from China and was to be taken to Sonepat in Haryana, it said.