24 school children down with pesticide poisoning

PORT DICKSON: Two dozen pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Linggi were treated for pesticide poisoning today after showing signs of dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

Thirteen of 24 affected students were taken to hospital for treatment.

Nur Ezzadina Mohd Fadzi, 12, said she inhaled the poison while sitting for a mathematics exam in the pre-tests of the Primary School Assessment (UPSR).

“Before the test, the odour permeated the air, but while answering the questions, the pungent smell was more pervasive. The whole examination hall had an overpowering stench,” she told Bernama here today.

Nur Ezzadina said she suffered from shortness of breath and vomiting. “I’m feeling drowsy and nauseous still,” she said.

Nur Sabrina Najwa Zakaria, 12, said that besides dizziness, nausea and vomiting, she also experienced blurred vision. “After inhaling the toxic fumes, all my classmates suffered from dizziness and shortness of breath,” she said.

R Deshwindran, 9, who had the same symptoms, said he was doing revision work on Moral Education in a hut near the school field at about 12.30pm. “I began to experience shortness of breath, vomiting and dizziness and was taken to PD Hospital,” he said.

Fire and rescue personnel from Telok Kemang were sent to the school along with the hazardous materials (Hazmat) unit from Seremban 2.

State Health, Environment, Cooperative and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman S Veerapan, said the incident involved 24 students. Thirteen were referred to PDH and all were reported to be in stable condition.

The case is believed to be due to pesticides being used at a chilli farm near the school.

School closed tomorrow, weekend activities cancelled

The school will be closed for a day tomorrow following the pesticide poisoning, state executive councillor Dr Mohamad Rafie Ab Malek said.

“All activities on the weekend will be stopped for the same purpose. The school session will reopen on Monday if it is viable to do so. However, we will monitor the situation.”

The area around the school is to be cleaned.

“If the situation does not improve and is still hazardous, the holiday will probably be extended but if it’s okay we will run the school session as usual,” he said.

The 12 pupils in hospital are reported to be in stable condition.