Twenty-four students and two canteen workers at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Sungai Tiram, Ulu Tiram here experienced dizziness and vomiting due to chemical odour pollution in the school, yesterday.
Head of Johor Jaya Fire and Rescue Station (BBP) Senior Assistant Superintendent Mohd Faiz Ramli said two teachers at the school also experienced dizziness due to the same problem.
He said upon receiving a distress call regarding the incident at 3.13 pm yesterday, 17 members including members of the Hazardous Materials Unit (HAZMAT) rushed to the scene.
"When the Emergency Response Team arrived at the scene, it was found that there were several victims suffering from dizziness and vomiting. The response team tried to find the source of the odour which caused the pollution. All students and teachers were instructed to leave the school area immediately and seek treatment at a clinic nearby.
"The response team also conducted air readings at the location periodically with the Johor State Department of Environment (DOE). The main focus covered an area of five km radius around the school as the source of the pollution has not yet been found," he said in a statement tonight.
Mohd Faiz said one of the measures taken by the HAZMAT team was to identify the source of the pollution and finalise the detection including using long-range detectors, gasmets and rads in several designated sectors.
"Around 6 pm today, the detection process was carried out in five sectors. Detection in sector five, which is in the area of a factory using gasmet GT5000, recorded an increase in the reading of methyl mercaptan by 50ppm (parts per million).
"After making an assessment at the location, there was an increase in the reading of methyl mercaptan, it was found that there was burning activity in the IBC tank containing solid (sludge) and liquid waste material and the disposal of solid (sludge) and liquid waste to the waterway in the nearby river," he said.
Following the discovery, the follow-up operation was handed over to the Johor State DOE for further action, he said.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency