Six secondary school students sick after inhaling ammonia gas

FALIQ LAJIM

SHAH ALAM: Six secondary school students were hospitalised after they inhaled ammonia fumes from a leaked gas tank at a nearby ice factory in Desa Latania, Section 36, here this morning. The students of Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) Chung Hwa, were rushed to the hospitals after complaining breathing difficulties and vomiting, which are symptoms related to toxic gas inhalation. It is learnt that the students, aged between 15 and 17, are being treated at the Shah Alam Hospital here and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang near here. The school’s principal, Lim Peck Poh, has also instructed all students to return home following safety concerns. Selangor Fire and Rescue Department operations management chief Alimaddia Bukri said a team from the Hazardous Material Unit (Hazmat) was deployed to the scene upon receiving a distress call from Lim at 7.04am. “Checks showed the ammonia content reading in the factory and nearby areas was 40 parts per million (PPM), which is below the normal reading and still under control. “There was no one at the factory, which is still closed due to the ammonia leak mishap on Monday. “The situation is under control. We also learned that the school has been closed for safety reason,” he said, adding that the Hazmat team will remain at the scene to monitor the ammonia content readings. It was reported last week that two workers, both Indian nationals, were killed following mishap at the factory, which is located in front of the school. The victims died on the spot after they were believed to have inhaled the ammonia gas, which had leaked from a tank at the factory while they were conducting routine work. A total of 18 workers were rushed to four hospitals here in the state for treatment. Since then, the Shah Alam City Council has ordered the factory to temporarily stop its operation. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd