Malaysia: 111 Schools Shut After Chemical Leak Poisonings

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 14, 2019

The chemical waste dumped into the river released toxic fumes which started affecting the people, many of them schoolchildren, since March 7.

Bernama talked to members of at least two families which have made a decision to stay away from the area where the inhalation of fumes from the toxic chemical waste dumped into Sungai Kim Kim sent over 900 people to hospital.

Initial reports suggested the poisoning was far less widespread, but as hospital admissions climbed Malik raised the number of schools to be closed from 13 on Wednesday.

"Based on the current situation and advisory from the state's disaster management committee, the Ministry of Education have made a decision to shut all 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang area immediately", Education Minister Maszlee Malik said in a statement.

Over 500 people, many of them school pupils, have received medical treatment after inhaling the fumes, with over 160 admitted to hospital, according to official news agency Bernama. As of Monday, 44 people were in hospital where 6 were in intensive care.

Three men were arrested earlier this week over the dumping, with some reports claiming the poisoning to have been methane. One is expected to be charged in court soon and could face up to five years in jail if found guilty of breaking environmental protection laws.

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