18 hospitalised over toxic emissions in Tamil Nadu; factory sealed

Sources said that fire and rescue personnel and police arrived at the village during midnight and helped those severely affected be admitted to the Government Hospital in Mundiyambakkam.
18 villagers from Vedampattu were hospitalised as they suffered severe asphyxiation after inhaling the toxic smoke emanated from a nearby private medical waste processing factory.
18 villagers from Vedampattu were hospitalised as they suffered severe asphyxiation after inhaling the toxic smoke emanated from a nearby private medical waste processing factory. (Representative image)

VILLUPURAM: A minimum of 18 villagers from Vedampattu were hospitalised during the wee hours of Sunday morning, as they suffered severe asphyxiation after inhaling the toxic smoke emanated from a nearby private medical waste processing factory. Later that day, Collector C Palani issued a notice to the factory for violations and sealed it shut. Official sources said that the factory had illegally burnt toxic wastes during the night.

Sources said that fire and rescue personnel and police arrived at the village during midnight and helped those severely affected be admitted to the Government Hospital in Mundiyambakkam. More than 800 eligible voters from Vedampattu had boycotted the recent Lok Sabha elections, demanding the district administration to shut down the factory.

One S Mariamma (45) alleged inaction from the district administration despite their repeated complaints, the latest petition filed last February. “Women have developed uterine issues; livestock died after drinking water from a pond next to the factory,” she said.

Following their protests on the day of the elections, the district administration issued a show cause notice to the factory management, demanding an explanation by April 23.

“Why did we have to endure such suffering for over five years now?” asked one S Dhanavel (30), a resident of the village, criticising the district administration for inaction.

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