PM’s balm after 11 perished in toxic gas leak in Ludhiana
New Delhi/Ludhiana: After 11 persons died by inhaling a poisonous gas that might have emanated from a partially open manhole at Giyaspura, SuaRoad in Ludhiana on April 30, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed grief on the tragedy and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of each deceased and Rs. 50000 for the four persons who were hospitalised after falling ill.
Ten of the eleven persons who died after inhaling the toxic gas were from three families alone. The deceased included Kavilash, his wife Varsha and their three children Kalpana (16), Abhay (13), and Aryan (10); Sourav Goyal and his wife Preety and mother Kamlesh; and Navneet Kumar and his wife Neetu.
The thickly populated Giyaspura area of Ludhiana is an industrial hub which has many factories in the vicinity. Soon after the incident, two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were deployed and the area was cordoned and sealed, while residents were evacuated to safer places. After a night-long decontamination process, district authorities said today that there were no traces of the toxic gases present in the area anymore.
The Punjab Police today constituted a five-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe if any industrial unit dumped waste in the sewerage line. The Punjab Pollution Control Board is also investigating the cause behind the build-up of neurotoxin in the sewer. A magisterial inquiry is also on to ascertain the cause of the poisonous gas leak. Yesterday, Surabhi Malik, the Deputy commissioner of Ludhiana, referred to the air quality sensors used by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team that showed high levels of Hydrogen Sulphide gas. A possibility of its prevalence could be the improper maintenance of the sewerage system that led to the gas formation. Reports suggest that there was also a likelihood of some chemical reaction with methane generated during the breakdown of human waste.
Hydrogen Sulphide as well as Methane are among the common neurotoxic gases along with Carbon dioxide and Carbon monoxide. Hydrogen Sulphide can kill a person with just one breath, experts said.
– global bihari bureau