Chemical spill in Johor Environment Dept office, building evacuated

Ben Tan
The Johor Fire and Rescue Department’s Hazmat unit decontaminates the Johor Department of Environment’s (DoE) premises at Taman Tampoi Indah 2 in Johor Baru March 21, 2019. — Picture courtesy of Johor Fire and Rescue Department

JOHOR BARU, March 21 — The Johor Department of Environment (DoE) building in Taman Tampoi Indah 2 here was evacuated and placed on lockdown following a toxic chemical spill in the department’s laboratory this evening.

A 30-year-old male technician lost consciousness in the laboratory in the 4.20pm incident and was rushed to Sultanah Aminah Hospital.

The Johor Fire and Rescue Department’s hazardous materials (Hazmat) unit was immediately called in to decontaminate the premises.

The operation, involving nine personnel and three fire engines, took more than two hours.

Johor Hazmat unit chief Mohd Hairinizam Mostapa said the department received a distress call at 4.28pm.

“We were told by Johor DoE that there was a toxic chemical spill in their laboratory.

“The Hazmat unit has decontaminated the premises and also contained the area,” he said, adding that the entire operation ended at 6.53pm.

Mohd Hairinizam said investigators have yet to determine the cause of the incident, pending a probe.

The Johor Fire and Rescue Department’s Hazmat unit decontaminates the Johor Department of Environment’s (DoE) premises at Taman Tampoi Indah 2 in Johor Baru March 21, 2019. — Picture courtesy of Johor Fire and Rescue Department

Meanwhile, Johor DoE director Datuk Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh said the incident had involved pure chemicals that spilled and caused fumes to develop in the laboratory.

“We believe that the chemicals may have spilled causing the fumes.

“However, the situation has been contained for the time being,” he said when contacted today.

On the source of the spilled chemicals, Mohammad Ezanni said they were pure chemicals and not chemical samples taken from Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang.

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