Four laborers died and eight others are in critical condition owing to a gas leak at Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizer Chemical Ltd (GNFC) factory. The toxic gas that had leaked was identified to be Toluene diisocyanate (TDI). The gas leaked during the peak hours of work at the factory on Thursday. The report on the number of causalities came in on Friday evening. This is the second such incident at the plant. A similar leak happened on January 2014 and affected over twenty one laborers. The toxic gas that leaked then was identified to be Phosgene. The Bharuch District Administration’s Disaster Management team, along with GPCB and police, reached the spot and began probe after the Dahej police registered a complaint.
Dahej police inspector, Vipul Patel said, “We have started a probe into the incident and the company has been shut down. All the employees and laborers had been evacuated. Other eight who were affected are still undergoing treatment at a private hospital, while the condition of two others is said to be critical. The GPCB, Factory inspector and Disaster teams have also reached and they have started probe”. He further added, “This is the second such incident in the same plant, as earlier in January 2014, a phosgene gas leakage incident had affected twenty one laborers. But no casualties were reported.” Read more on deaths
Congress leader, Ahmed Patel demanded that the government constitute an inquiry and provide assistance to the victims. “I am saddened by the loss of lives due to the gas – leak at GNFC Bharuch. The Government must constitute inquiry & provide assistance to victims”, said Ahmed Patel. A faulty gasket had led to the leak of Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) gas at GNFC factory on Thursday. As a result, those working near the gasket developed breathing problems. The plant was shut down after a few company officials reached the spot. Over ten laborers and three company employees were affected due to the Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) gas leak and were shifted to a private hospital in Bharuch. Three of the laborers were declared dead on arrival. The condition of others was said to be still critical. The dead were identified as Khurshid Shafi, Mohammed Tayyab Ansari, Mohammed Jainuddin and Vasim Ahmed.
Factories dealing with the processing of toxic gases like Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) should take utmost security precautions and do regular checks on gaskets to avoid tragic gas leaks and deaths. The government of India should ensure that all such factories take this precaution and shut down all those that do not meet the safety standards, like GNFC. That way chemical and fertilizer plants in India will be safe for workers to work in. We wish all those who are in critical condition at private hospitals, due to this gas leak, a speedy recovery. The government of India should also compensate the families affected by this tragedy.All of them are residents of Dahej. Read more on Startups