Residents up in arms over chemical waste dumping

Students from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Pasir Putih, Pasir Gudang being treated after inhaling noxious fumes. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: The dumping of chemical wastes into the KimKim River, near Pasir Gudang, which left eight in critical condition due to methane poisoning has angered Taman Pasir Putih residents here.

Mohamad Hazrin Mohamad Razali, 39, said he thought someone was burning garbage after smelling an unpleasant odour when he woke up this morning.

‘’I only realised that it was a chemical gas pollution after reading the information on the Taman Pasir Putih Whatsapp group.

“My family and I are also affected by the pollution such as headaches including my eldest born who goes to Sekolah Kebangsaan Pasir Putih but my youngest is not affected because he goes to a religious school which is a bit further from home.

‘’But I am still worried because both of them have asthma,’’ he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

An assistant engineer working for a private sector company, he also regarded the dumping of chemical waste as uncivilised and insensitive and hoped the authorities concerned could nab the culprits and drag them to court as soon as possible.

Asrul Abeli, 32, also expressed regret at the incident which he said inconvenienced many.

‘’The act (dumping chemical waste) is indeed thoughtless, what more it is near schools resulting in children becoming ill.

“I have also heard some people saying they saw a lorry was near the river to dump the waste. So, I hope an investigation can be conducted to catch the culprits,’’ said Asrul, who also suffered a headache when he went to work.

Meanwhile, Ridzuan Zainal Abidin, 31, said he and his family members developed headaches after they smelled the chemical but they were not as badly affected as the other victims.

Ridzuan, who worked as a technician, called for appropriate action to be meted out against the individuals who dumped the waste and hoped that it would not recur.

Earlier, the number of victims who sniffed the smell of the chemical pollution rose to 35 people, with 21 treated at the Sultan Ismail Hospital, six at the Pasir Gudang Health Clinic and three at the Penawal Hospital.

All were reported to be stable.