Chandigarh: At least 11 people, including three children, died and four others were hospitalized on Sunday morning after inhaling poisonous gas in the partially industrial and suburban Giaspura area located in the outskirts of Ludhiana city of Punjab. The said area, which has a population of mostly migrant labor from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar of about 15,000, is located close to the Ludhiana industrial area focal point.
Entire area had been sealed
Alerted by the shocking incident, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team rushed to the spot, and the entire area had been sealed. The police, fire brigade, and ambulances had also been deployed there. According to information, eight persons, including two men, four women, and two children, were brought dead to the civil hospital, while three others succumbed later in the day.
Police said that the deceased had been identified as Kabilash Kumar, 40, his wife Barsha Devi, and their three children, Kalpana, 16, Abhay Narayan, 12, and Aryan, 9. The other three were Saurav Goyal, 28, his wife Triti, and his mother. While the condition of his brother Gaurav was said to be critical, Saurav’s eight-month-old son is out of danger at the hospital.
The locals told the media that when most of the people of the area woke up due to the foul smell and severe headache-like ailments around 7 am, they first tried to close all the windows, trying to stop the smell from coming into their houses but soon decided to move out of the area.
Punjab health minister order an audit of the area
Punjab Health Minister Dr. Balbir Singh, who ordered an audit of the area, said that according to the initial probe, it seemed to be the hydrogen sulfide. According to information, the said gas is poisonous, corrosive, and flammable and is often produced from the microbial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen such as swamps and sewers.
The Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Surabhi Malik also told newsmen that the neurotoxic gas was suspected to have reacted and emanated from the manholes in the area. She said that while samples had been collected, a magisterial inquiry had been ordered. Besides, scientific and clinical probes were in progress.
Meanwhile, the district administration announced Rs 2 lakh compensation each for the family of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those taken ill. Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed grief at the loss of lives and said the NDRF teams were at relief work. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said in a Tweet that it was a painful incident and that all possible help was being provided.
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