Around 200 students were taken ill after a chemical leak from a nearby sugar mill in Shamli in Uttar Pradesh. According to reports, the children – students of Saraswati Vidya Mandir and Saraswati Junior High School – inhaled fumes of a chemical that was used to treat garbage at the plant.
The students were taken to district and private hospitals after they complained of burning eyes, breathlessness, nausea and stomach ache. Some, reports said, had fainted.
The Uttar Pradesh Control Room confirmed the gas leak and said 175 of the 200 children who were hospitalised were sent home after first aid, ANI reported. Twenty-three students are still under observation, and two were referred to Panipat for further treatment.
Shamli is the state’s sugar and jaggery manufacturing hub.
Some have accused the sugar mill of negligence. Authorities of the factory reportedly paid no heed to complaints against pollutants including waste water and stench discharged from the mill.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has ordered the commissioner of Saharanpur to look into the incident and asked Shamli District Magistrate Indra Vikram Singh and all local officers to help the affected children, The Indian Express reported.