Another mercury spill in Sabah

Handling with care: A fireman cleaning up the mercury spill at SMK Perempuan Sandakan.

KOTA KINABALU: Another mercury spill has occurred at a school in Sabah. This is the fourth mercury spill incident in a school in less than two months.

The authorities were called in to clean up the spill at SMK Perempuan Sandakan in the east coast Sandakan district yesterday.

Sabah Fire and Rescue Department assistant director of operations Misran Bisara said they received a call over the latest incident from a school staff member at 9.40am.

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

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

On reaching the laboratory, Misran said the responders immediately used sulphur powder to neutralise the mercury before placing the residue in a bag for disposal.

The operation ended at 10.17am, he added.

On Monday, a student was rushed to hospital after coming into contact with mercury that spilled from a broken thermometer at SMK St Mary in the southwestern Papar district.

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

Misran said the department received a call over the incident at 7.04pm on Thursday.

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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