Chlorine gas leak detected on time, says Chemfab Alkalis

Saturday, January 29, 2011

CHENNAI - Three days after a chlorine gas leak from its factory left 300 people affected, Chemfab Alkalis Ltd Saturday said the leakage had been detected on time and turned off but a strong wind carried the gas outside the premises.

The factory also said it is extending full cooperation to Puducherry authorities in investigating the chlorine leak incident at the company’s factory Jan 26, an official said.

The Puducherry administration has ordered closure of the factory, some 150 km from here, leading to a per day production loss of 106 tonnes.

At least 300 people living near the factory complained of nausea and other problems after a chlorine gas leak from the factory affected them. They were hospitalised and later discharged.

“We have complied with the orders to facilitate investigations by the government authorities and are cooperating with them,” V.R. Raghuraman, the administrative general manager of the company, told IANS.

The Rs.87.29 crore turnover company produces caustic soda lyke, liquid chlorine, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen gas and barium sulphate.

“There was a leak when chlorine was being filled in an empty cylinder. The leak was detected by the sensors. As the alarm went off, the field person was cautioned and the leak was immediately checked.

“There are 15 chlorine sensors installed at vulnerable points. Unfortunately, the heavy winds carried the chlorine in the southeast direction. The leak was detected and arrested within two minutes,” he said.

When queried whether the company has insurance policies to protect itself against suits, Raghuraman said: “The company has insurance policies as advised by the insurance consultants.”

Filed under: Economy

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