KOLLAM: The teams probing the suspected gas leak at the Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) at Chavara, which led to the hospitalisation of 120 students, have not ruled out the possibility of foul play.
Members of the probe team after a visit to the KMML complex said, prima facie, it appears to be no “ordinary” gas leak. The team headed by ADGP A Hemachandran, tasked with probing the security angle, and a technical panel under District Collector Pranab Jyothinath, which is looking into the scientific aspect, inspected the plants and verified the log books. Some employees who operated the chlorinator at the titanium pigmentation plant, from where the gas leaked on Wednesday, were questioned by them.
The team also visited the premises of nearby schools. Members of the technical team said plants should be made operational to investigate the nature of gases released during the production process. The technical panel includes representatives from the State Pollution Control Board, chemical engineers from Kochi Refineries, VSSC and a four-member special medical team led by Dr Rajan and Dr Ramesh from the Thiruvananthapuram MCH.
The medical team visited the site to assess the condition of the children admitted to various hospitals in Chavara.
“The children were suffering from nausea and headache as they inhaled the gas released on Wednesday. All of them who sought treatment have recovered and are stable,” said S Krishnakumar, deputy DMO of Kollam and a member of the team.
The medical team has submitted a report to the Medical College Principal. “The technical team will submit a report to the Home Ministry. A high-level meeting will be held on August 12 at the chamber of the Industries Minister to discuss the reports,” said District Collector Pranab Jyothinath.
Bindu Radhakrishnan, PCB Executive Engineer, who is part of the technical team told ‘Express’ that a monitoring meet would soon be held. “The affected school premises do not have traces of harmful gases,’ the official said.