Fourth mercury spill in Sabah schools in less than two months


KOTA KINABALU: The authorities had to be called in to clean up yet another mercury spill at a school in Sabah.

This is the fourth mercury spill incident in a school in less than two months.

The latest incident occurred at SMK Perempuan Sandakan in the east coast Sandakan district on Friday (Sept 30).

Sabah Fire and Rescue Department assistant director of operations Misran Bisara said they received a call from a school staff member at 9.41am.

“The mercury spill happened after a thermometer broke in the school’s biology laboratory,” he said when contacted.

“No one was hurt in the incident,” he added.

On reaching the laboratory, Misran said firemen immediately used sulphur powder to neutralise the spilt mercury and later placed the residue in a bag for disposal.

The operation ended at 10.17am, he added.

On Monday (Sept 26), a student was rushed to hospital after coming in contact with mercury that spilled from a broken thermometer at SMK St Mary in the south-western Papar district.

In an unrelated incident, a landslide ended up blocking traffic after debris fell and covered both lanes at KM32 of the Jalan Kundasang-Ranau, a remote location near Mount Kinabalu.

Misran said the department received a call about the incident at 7.04pm on Thursday (Sept 29).

No casualties were reported, he said, but firemen still responded by going to the scene to ensure road users were kept away from harm.

“We also advised motorists to use alternative routes to continue their journey.

“The team ended the operation at 8.37pm to enable the Public Works Department to take the next course of action,” he said.

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