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400 hospitalised after gas leak in Indonesia JAKARTA - Over 400 people were hospitalised in the Indonesian province of West Java after gas began leaking from a pipe owned by a textile producer, a local media report said on Wednesday. Hundreds of sick residents, some unconscious, were brought to the local hospital on Tuesday in ambulances, private cars and public buses with complaints of headaches and nausea after inhaling gas escaping from the pipe belonging to PT Indorama Synthetic.

"I smelled a foul odour at 5 am and slowly but surely my two children and I got headaches and started feeling nauseous," Rokayah, who lives 100 metres from the pipe, was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post. "I then saw my neighbours coming out on to the street, complaining that they too were suffering from similar symptoms."

Health workers at the Bayu Asih hospital in Purwakarta district, some 80 km southeast of Jakarta, were overwhelmed by the sudden flood of early morning patients. "We focused on those who were unconscious and later attended to those suffering less severe symptoms," said Sudrajat, head of the hospital's emergency unit. Gas reportedly leaked from the same pipe in 1999, but there were fewer victims that time. The company has been giving families living nearby five tins of instant milk per month since the 1999 incident.

A spokesman for PT Indorama Synthetic said the company accepted responsibility for Tuesday morning's leak and would cover medical expenses of the residents, but added that the gas was not dangerous. "Dozens of our employees are working near the site of the leak and they are doing fine," spokesman Harry Prasetyo said.



Posted in Accidents @ 15 December 2005 07:17 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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