Johor Bahru in Southern Malaysia, near the Singapore border, was the site of an incident where twenty-one students were hospitalized last Friday after breathing in methane fumes from chemical waste that had been illegally dumped into the Kim Kim river near the school. Eighteen other people are also in the hospital under observation. A number of those on hospital are still in intensive care.
Two schools and a total of 1,400 students were evacuated from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Pasir Putih and Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Taman Pasir Putih.
Johor Fire Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis said on Friday that the clean-up of the river was completed at 8.30pm the previous evening after the hazardous material (HazMat) team determined the river was safe. “Further action will be left to the Johor Department of Environment (DoE), Drainage and Irrigation Department and Pasir Gudang Municipal Council to conduct monitoring and cleaning of the river over the next five days,” he said.
This is not the first time that this has happened. A similar incident happened in Klang last year, although that was not as severe as this one.
Image for Illustration.