Death toll in Kemari incident reaches to 9

KARACHI: On Monday 17 February 2020, in Kemari area situated at Karachi experienced a gas leak causing health disaster, affecting more than 500 people with the death toll of 9.

The initial investigation revealed that the origin was the leakage of Hydrogen Sulfide, a highly toxic gas which is the by-product of crude oil but here it was produced in the sewerage system.

As a result of the spreading of this gas, more than 100 people were moved to a hospital, complaining about breathing issues, itchy eyes, and chest tightness.

The authorities from the police and health department confirmed one death from poisonous gas, late on Monday night. On Tuesday, three more deaths were confirmed reaching the toll to nine in the past two days. 

Murtaza Wahab, the Advisor on Environment for Sindh talked to the media saying that this poisonous gas in Kemari has resulted in many deaths and dozen of people being hospitalized and that is very tragic for us.

He assured that several teams are working on the investigation as we have gained assistance from professionals from private companies. He also revealed the source of leakage was probably from the crude oil factories located beside the Railway Colony.

Murtaza also said that we have kept all the information non-conclusive as it is not finished yet and more new information is on its way.

Murad Ali Shah, the Chief Minister of Sindh has given orders to make arrangements for the people to move from that area.

However, the provincial government officials remarked that the Karachi port which is under the port trust is not letting the environment investigators and the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency probe the port.

After one of the residents complained about breathing issues and souring eyes, the investigation team from SEPA hurried towards the Railway Colony.

Last night, Zahid Abbassi health secretary of Sindh also visited Ziauddin Hospital saying that the provincial government will give all the money for the treatment of the people due to poisonous gas.

Since yesterday, there has been a fearful environment in that area as residents have been seen wearing masks and taking their families to other areas.

In areas near Kemari town including Machar Colony, Clifton, Tower, most of the school, public and private are being closed.

On Monday, an FIR was being registered over Karachi gas leak under sections 322, 337-A and 384 against unknown people. The case was registered in Jackson Police Station on the state’s behalf.

While confirming, Malik Adil Jackson station’s SHO stated that five people with three women have been found dead while 63 others were affected by the gas.

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