Several people were left coughing and gasping in panic after a gas leak from a water treatment plant in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal last evening.
15 of them, including two children, had to be taken to the hospital, officials said, adding that their condition is reported to be stable now.
The gas leak was reported from a chlorine cylinder installed at the water treatment plant in Mother India colony of the city.
Locals say they came out of their homes following a strong odour of gas in the area at around 6 pm. Many started coughing and vomiting, and some of them also reported a burning sensation in their eyes.
Two children also fainted due to the strong smell, they said.
The residents then informed the police and the fire department.
The gas leak was first reported at 2.30 pm, following which the technicians tried to repair the cylinder, but the gas started to leak again in the evening, officials said.
Avinash Lavania, Collector, Bhopal said the situation was brought under control within half an hour. He said the firefighters and the civic body officials dunked the cylinder into a water tank, so the gas could dilute in the water.
They used a crane to dunk the cylinder, which had about 900 kgs of chlorine gas, into the water tank.
“There was no stampede-like situation and nobody was seriously injured in the incident. Only a few people were taken to the hospital on a precautionary basis. He had talked to the doctors, there was nothing to worry about,” Mr Lavania said.
Mother India colony, which is home to about 400 families, is located near Idgah hills – one of the worst hit areas during the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy that killed thousands and affected more than 5.5 lakh people.
Officials said a probe has been launched to ascertain the exact cause that led to the gas leakage.