Firemen clean up another mercury spill at school

Hazardous liquid: Firemen cleaning up the mercury spill.

KOTA KINABALU: Another secondary school in Sabah had to call in the firemen to clean up a mercury spill from a broken thermometer. This time it is SMK Kuhara in the east coast Tawau district.

This is believed to be at least the seventh such incident to happen in secondary schools in the state since last August.

A spokesman from the Fire and Rescue Department said SMK Kuhara’s management made an emergency call to a fire station at 8.39am yesterday.

“The spill happened after a thermometer broke at a lab in the school. The fire team swept the mercury into a bag for disposal and the operation ended at 9.14am,” the spokesman said, adding that no one was hurt in the incident.

Previously, firemen had attended to similar mercury spills at SMK Peter Mojuntin, Penampang; SMK Perempuan Sandakan; SMK St Mary Papar; SMK Jambatan Putih, Tawau; SMK Bukit Garam 2, Kinabatangan; and SMK Kota Klias, Beaufort.

None reported serious injuries.

In an unrelated case, the public came to the rescue of a five-year-old who was trapped inside his family car in the Tuaran district, about 40km from here.

Passers-by, alerted by the frantic reactions of family members, broke the side glass of the car before firemen reached the scene yesterday.

A spokesman said the department received a distress call about the incident at 11.49am.

“The public reported that a boy was locked inside a car parked behind a clinic in Tuaran town.

“A team was immediately rushed to the area, but the boy, who had been trapped for some 10 minutes, was already free by the time firemen reached the location,” he said.

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