Fifteen students suffer breathing difficulties in Pasir Gudang

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PUTRAJAYA (June 20): The incident involving 15 students from Sekolah Agama Taman Mawar in Pasir Gudang,  who suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting, was possibility caused by poisonous gas, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Speaking at a Press conference at his Ministry here today, he said the Health Ministry was aware of the incident and would closely monitor the situation, adding that "everything is under control".

“The symptoms look like a possibility of poisonous gas or volatile organic gas compounds, just like the Sungai Kim Kim’s incident," he said, adding that the Ministry had been in touch with Johor Health Department director Dr Selahudden Abd Aziz on the matter.

Asked if there would be any announcement on school closure, Dr Dzulkefly said it was a bit too early to decide or say anything.

“I’m going to see the information.. kind of toxicity.. and all those like levels of exposure and toxicity need to be looked into.

“What is important is our Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Johor is working very diligently. They have been alerted and they are on the ground addressing this,” he said.

Pasir Gudang Fire and Rescue Station chief, Ibrahim Omar said they received a distress call about the incident at 3.39pm and an Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) team with three personnel rushed over to the scene.

“When the team arrived, there were 15 students suffering from vomiting and breathing difficulties and we sent five of them to the Sultan Ismail hospital for further treatment.

“The Hazardous Materials Unit (Hazmat) and the Johor Bahru EMRS have arrived at the scene and decontamination is ongoing,” he said in a statement earlier today

In March, the toxic pollution of Sungai Kim Kim resulted in over 4,000 people falling ill and led to the closure of 111 schools in Pasir Gudang district.