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BANGALORE: There was panic among residents and garment workers in Kodichikkanahalli near Madiwala following leakage of chlorine from a garment unit on Monday.
Some 110 employees of Excel garment factory and its neighbouring United Dry Goods experienced nausea and loss of consciousness when the gas leaked from an adjoining garment unit. Those who lived in the area and passers-by also suffered similar symptoms.
The factory management immediately rushed its employees to hospital. While some of them were taken to St. Johns Hospital, others were taken to two nearby hospitals. “We started to feel the discomfort around 10.30 a.m.,” said Manjula, a garment worker at Excel. She, along with 70 others, was treated as out-patients at St. John’s.
The neighbouring garment unit, owned by one Solanki, had been closed for the past one month. “We had seen some people stealing from the dysfunctional unit. We had asked the owner to remove the articles,” said Ravi, another Excel employee.
“A foul smell started to emanate from the dysfunctional unit. Our eyes started to burn and I fell down unconscious,” said Manohar, another Excel employee.
The Fire Services personnel came to the spot with two fire engines.
“The cylinder containing chlorine was found leaking. We poured water on it and diluted the gas,’ said Regional Fire Officer Ravishankar, who oversaw the operation.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) BNS Reddy said the police have registered a case of negligence against Mr. Solanki. MLA Satish Reddy said instructions will be given to authorities to look at such dysfunctional units and take necessary action to prevent such an event.
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