Dozens pass out after chemical leak at India meat factory

Police say employees passed out after a pipe carrying ammonia burst and spewed noxious fumes into factory in Aligarh


AFP September 29, 2022
In this file photo, police personnel and officials stand outside the Vishva Prem Mills after a gas leakage killed 6 people and hospitalised 20 others in Surat, some 270 kilometres from Ahmedabad, on 6 January 2022. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Dozens of workers fell unconscious and were hospitalised on Thursday after a chemical leak at an Indian meat processing plant, police said, the second such incident in two days.

Police said the employees complained of breathing problems and passed out after a pipe carrying ammonia burst and spewed noxious fumes into the factory in the northern city of Aligarh.

"At least 55 workers, mostly women, were rushed to the hospital after the leak," a local police official told AFP. "Most of the workers were unconscious."

Emergency personnel rushed to the factory and were working to stop the toxic gas from spreading.

Read more: Nine injured in Lyari fire caused by gas leakage

Police said the factory had been temporarily sealed and an investigation into the incident was underway.

The faintings came less than a day after 28 workers fell ill, with at least five in critical condition, following an ammonia gas leak at a prawn processing unit in eastern Odisha state.

Factory mishaps are common in India due to a lack of government oversight and rampant corruption.

India suffered one of the world's worst industrial disasters in 1984, when thousands died after a gas leak at a pesticide factory owned by US company Union Carbide.

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