India

Odisha: 100 take ill after gas leak at prawn processing unit

Odisha: 100 take ill after gas leak at prawn processing unit

Nearly 100 workers, most of them women, fell sick in a case of suspected gas leak at a prawn processing unit in Odisha’s Balasore district on Wednesday night.

Doctors said the situation is under control and many of the affected people are being discharged after first-aid, PTI reported.

Odisha’s coastline is dotted with many units that culture shrimp for domestic and international markets. The state exports prawn worth approximately Rs 2,000 crore annually.

The accident is reported to have occurred in Panapana village of Balasore’s Bahanga tehsil. The affected workers were taken to Khantapada community health centre (CHC).

Visuals emerging from the spot showed dozens of women being carried out of buses and into the CHC. Many women were unconscious and shivering as they were laid on the floor.

Fifty patients were later shifted to the district headquarters hospital, PTI reported, quoting a Balasore police officer.

Initial reports by local news channels said the CHC had only one doctor and a nurse, before the district administration rushed a team of doctors for additional support. Some nursing students were also allowed to join the teams treating the affected workers, according to information.

“We hear that the gas leaked is ammonia,” a district administration official said. But one of the first women to revive said the gas in question was a chlorine compound. “My eyes and throat started burning. I was sneezing violently and rushed outside,” she said.