Ammonia gas leak in Sungai Petani did not exceed danger levels, says Environment Dept

ALOR SETAR: The ammonia gas leak from a factory producing rubber products in the Bakar Arang Industrial Area, Sungai Petani, on Thursday (June 27) did not exceed danger levels set by the Occupational Health and Safety Department, said the Kedah Environment Department.

The department's director, Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab, said that based on samples taken at 3.39pm, gas readings in the leakage area, the red zone, were between six to eight particles per million (ppm).

"Gas readings in the green zone were zero ppm, and the density of the ammonia gas was below the permitted level of 25 ppm. The leak is now fully under control and does not affect the surrounding areas of the factory, nor does it cause pollution beyond the factory area.

"We have instructed the factory to conduct a complete inspection of the premises, as there were incidents of raw material and chemical spills reported at the same factory several months ago," she said in a statement on Thursday (June 27).

The factory had been asked to dispose of three 25-litre containers that held ammonia liquid previously stored in an open area in the factory.

"They need to prepare a temporary storage area before disposal but must follow set guidelines. The department will also conduct follow-up checks to ensure the factory complies with the instructions," she said.

Meanwhile, Kedah Fire and Rescue Department assistant operations director Wan Mohd Hamizi Wan Mohd Zin said 22 workers suffered shortness of breath and vomiting due to ammonia gas exposure and were taken to the hospital.

"Work to identify materials was conducted using hazardous chemical detectors, and efforts to move materials and decontaminate the area have been completed. The final inspection has been made to ensure the area is safe, and the operation ended at 5.21pm," he added. - Bernama

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