Johor to monitor air quality after 15 fall ill in Pasir Gudang

Officers checking on students who sought treatment at a school in Johor on Thursday. They were among 15 people who suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting. PHOTO: BERNAMA
Officers checking on students who sought treatment at a school in Johor on Thursday. They were among 15 people who suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting. PHOTO: BERNAMA

PASIR GUDANG • The Johor government has ruled out a repeat of the Sungai Kim Kim incident after 15 individuals - including 13 students - were admitted to hospital following breathing difficulties and vomiting.

State Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar yesterday said the authorities have opened an operations centre at the Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium, following the incident on Thursday.

"This incident has nothing to do with Sungai Kim Kim because the school is located some 6km away and, so far, the Department of Environment (DOE) has found no illegal dumping here," he told a press conference at the operation centre.

"The Fire and Rescue Department and DOE will lead the operations team, (and will) inspect air quality within a 2km radius around the affected area."

In March, toxic pollution in the Sungai Kim Kim resulted in more than 4,000 people falling ill. There was also a temporary closure of 111 schools in Pasir Gudang district.

Mr Khuzzan said six of the 15 victims in Thursday's incident have been warded at Hospital Sultan Ismail for further checks. The six students are in stable condition. The incident occurred at two schools.

Mr Khuzzan urged the public not to panic, and said the authorities would monitor air quality before making any decision.

 

State Islamic Religious Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee chairman Tosrin Jarvanthi said the government would hand out special aid to those affected.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2019, with the headline 'Johor to monitor air quality after 15 fall ill in Pasir Gudang'. Print Edition | Subscribe