In tragic news that has shaken the country, a gas leak incident reported from the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited(IFFCO) plant in Phulpur, Uttar Pradesh has taken the lives of 2 people and sent 15 to the hospital.
15 employees of IFFCO plant at Phoolpur fall ill following gas leakage, admitted to hospital: Prayagraj DM Bhanu Chandra Goswami
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 23, 2020
According to the reports, around 11:30 PM, Tuesday night, the staff of maintenance personnel smelled an ammonia gas leak in the urea production unit of the IFFCO plant.
The staff after smelling the leak tried to rush outside the plant but were unfortunately trapped inside and eventually fell unconscious. They were later rushed to the nearby hospital. Out of the staff that was rushed to the hospital, 2 persons were critically ill and eventually passed away.
The 2 persons who deceased have been identified. Assistant manager BP Singh along with deputy manager Abhinandan took their last breathe last night in the hospital while the rest of the staff were still under observation. The reports suggest that the leakage was in a pipe which was eventually stopped.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the situation and has probed an official inquiry and has ordered the officials to carry out the relief work.
Ammonia is a compound used in the manufacturing of chemicals and fertilizers. The compound has a sharp odor and it is widely known that exposure to large quantities of Ammonia gas can cause a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, and throat. Prolonged exposure to the gas can not only cause severe damage to a person’s eyes and lungs but can also be fatal.
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) which is one of India’s biggest cooperative society is also India’s biggest fertilizer manufacturer. It was ranked 66th on the Fortune India 500 list of biggest corporations in the country as of 2017 with a net worth of $2.3 billion as of 2018.
One might think that a cooperative society with such a huge magnitude would have all the safeguards placed for its personnel and yet tragedies like this remind us that there is a lot to be desired when it comes to safety measures that ought to be in place for the workers in the facility.
It should be noted that this Ammonia leak is not an isolated incident. In the last two years, there have been 5 gas leakage incidents that have been reported. In May 2018, there was another similar incident of a gas leakage due to which 9 people had fallen unconscious and were rushed to the hospital.
With such alarming incidents being reported so frequently, the IFFCO plant’s credibility is deteriorating exponentially. We hope that enough questions are raised around the safety measures of the facility so that incidents like these do not put the life of hard-working Indians under threat.