Around 35 people, including four children and several factory workers, fell ill after inhaling ammonia gas which had leaked from the air-conditioning plant of a prawn processing unit at Buderhat area of Panchasayar in the southern fringes of the city late Saturday night.
Senior police officers and disaster management team personnel rushed to the spot following the incident and admitted the injured in nearby hospitals. Some of the victims were stated to be in serious condition.
Police said that workers at the unit and local residents felt a foul smell originating from the AC plant of the prawn processing unit near Upahar complex late Saturday night. The works started feeling a burning sensation in their eyes and their throats were choking. Those who fell ill were soon removed from the place and taken to the hospital.
Police and disaster management teams managed to spot the source of the leakage which was inside the AC plant. Four fire tenders were pressed into the action. The impact of the harmful chemical was brought under control as the fire tenders poured water at the source of the leakage. Police managed to evacuate the unit and all the workers were brought out Members of the disaster management team identified the gas as ammonia.
A technical team and engineers soon swung into action after reaching the spot and started the repair work. After putting up an effort for nearly two hours, the police and disaster management team brought the situation under control. They repaired the portion of the AC plant that had developed a crack.
Police and fire department are investigating whether the unit had adequate fire fighting arrangements in place.