Toxic gas from river in JB sends dozens to hospital

Students receiving emergency treatment after fainting from inhaling what is believed to be hazardous gas. The fumes are suspected to have come from chemical waste that was illegally dumped into a river in Johor Baru.
Students receiving emergency treatment after fainting from inhaling what is believed to be hazardous gas. The fumes are suspected to have come from chemical waste that was illegally dumped into a river in Johor Baru.PHOTO: BERNAMA

JOHOR BARU • Dozens of people, including 18 students, have been admitted to hospital after being exposed to hazardous gas from chemical waste that was illegally dumped into a river in Johor Baru.

Senior state health official Sahruddin Jamal said yesterday 21 patients had been taken to Sultan Ismail Hospital, six to Pasir Gudang Health Clinic and another three to Penawar Hospital.

"Two victims, including a student, had to be intubated as their respiratory systems were blocked," Dr Sahruddin said at a press conference.

He added: "The rest of the victims are in stable condition."

He said the authorities had taken samples from the river, Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang.

Dr Sahruddin said the chemical had apparently been dumped where a bridge is being constructed.

State education official Aminolhuda Hassan said at the press conference the students were from SK Taman Pasir Putih and SMK Pasir Putih.

"Following the incident, the Johor Education Department has taken the decision to shut down the two schools until further notice," Mr Aminolhuda said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2019, with the headline 'Toxic gas from river in JB sends dozens to hospital'. Print Edition | Subscribe