A gas leak has taken place in Ludhiana, Northern India, taking the lives of eleven women and children. The leak happened near a milk shop. However, despite the discovery, the actual source of the leak is yet to be confirmed. Those collecting their milk at the time of the leak fell unconscious, and The National Disaster Response Force was sent to the site to assess the situation. The leak brings echoes of the 1984 Bhopal chemical leak which claimed the lives of three thousand five hundred individuals and is regarded as the world’s worst industrial disaster.
As nine individuals are being treated in the hospital, the populated area in the Punjab state has been sealed off and those living there have been ordered to evacuate. Although there are many factories surrounding the area, what actually caused the leak remains a mystery as it has been suggested that it may have been spread from certain manholes. Scientists are now rapidly collecting samples from manholes, attempting to prove how some sort of chemical reaction that took place with methane in the holes triggered the leak.
There is still much uncertainty surrounding the leak and the police have been discharged to the scene in gas masks, assessing the area and ensuring that individuals do not access it. Punjab’s chief minister Bhagwant Mann has shared his condolences and shock in a tweet saying ‘The incident of the gas leak in the factory in the Guaspari area of Ludhiana is very sad’.
Three years prior to the leak in Ludhiana, a gas leak in Andhra Pradesh put eight hundred individuals in the hospital, taking place near a chemical plant in the South Eastern State. Similarly in 2017 at least 200 pupils had to be admitted to hospital following a gas leak near their school in Southern New Delhi. India’s prolific history with gas leaks is blamed on its poor safety standards and insufficient factory and plant checks. Last year around two hundred cases of pipeline gas leakages were reported in India, which was a drop from three hundred and fifty in 2018. In order to prevent leaks from happening officials encourage awareness programs and more sufficient checking processes.
Edited By Aminat Akintobi
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