JOHOR BAHRU, March 7 (Bernama) – In an update to the methane leak detected near Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Pasir Putih and Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Pasir Putih this morning, Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman, Dr Sahruddin Jamal, said 28 people have now fallen ill.
He said they comprise students and canteen workers aged between seven and 40, with 19 being treated in Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI), two in Hospital Penawar and seven in the Pasir Gudang Public Clinic.
"Of the number at HSI, eight are in critical condition and in the Red Zone with the rest in the Yellow Zone,” he said when met after he visited an operations centre outside Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Pasir Putih.
He said a tanker is believed to have dumped chemical waste in Sungai Kim Kim yesterday morning and that the Environment Department and JBPM are now investigating.
He hopes they will be able to identify its source and type as soon as possible.
“The situation is under control and the smell of gas is less, yet anyone in the area showing symptoms of a gas leak, like nausea and throat irritation, must go to a hospital as quickly as possible,” he said.
In an earlier broadcast, Zone 1 Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (JBPM) deputy chief, Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, said they were called in after a gas leak and chemical spill report was received at 5.15am.
After investigating and detecting methane in the atmosphere, an evacuation of anyone within a 500m radius of the leak was ordered.