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Medical drive after gas leak

Ranchi, Feb. 2: The Garhwa district administration today launched a special health check-up drive in villages of Nagar Utari block, where over five dozen people fell ill following a leakage of chlorine gas from a tanker.

Last evening, the safety valve of a tanker developed technical snag near Vilaspur village off NH-75. Consequently, several villagers started complaining about uneasiness. They were rushed to nearby hospitals in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Though most of them were released after preliminary treatment last night itself, seven villagers were serious and kept under observation at Nagar Utari subdivision hospital. They were released today.

Sources said several people are still undergoing treatment at different hospitals and private nursing homes in Uttar Pradesh.

Nagar Utari police have filed an FIR under sections 269, 284, 337, 338 and 427 of IPC against the driver, who fled the spot, and seized the abandoned tanker. But no arrest has been made so far.

SP Sudhir Kumar Jha said the reason behind the leakage was not clear yet, but added that the tanker belonged to one Daltonganj-based Ravindra Singh.

Today, as a precautionary measure, the administration examined residents of Vilaspur and neighbouring villages. During the drive that kicked off around 9am and went on till 4pm, doctors and nurses visited villages and examined those who complained of uneasiness.

“The situation is under control. But we will send a team of doctors and paramedical staff to these villages for the next few days to monitor the situation,” said Garhwa civil surgeon J.B. Prasad.