, MUMBAI, Jul 15 – More than 60 people remained under observation in hospital on Thursday after a chlorine gas leak in the Indian city of Mumbai, officials said, as an investigation began into the cause of the incident.
A total of 115 people were treated for breathing difficulties and nausea at three hospitals after the leak early Wednesday from disused cylinders stored in a warehouse yard on industrial land in India\’s commercial capital.
Hospital officials told AFP that 63 patients were still undergoing treatment and described their condition as stable.
The Mumbai Port Trust, which owns the land, the police and the city\’s civic authorities have begun an investigation after it emerged that the empty cylinders imported for re-use had been left at the site since 1997.
"Why they were lying there since over 10 years will be among the various things the police would look into," senior officer Khalid Kaisar told the Press Trust of India news agency.
The leak has also led to criticism that fire crews were not properly equipped to deal with chemical spills.
Four firefighters were among those taken to hospital.
But Mumbai Fire Brigade chief fire officer Uday Tatkare told AFP the emergency response had been adequate.
"We have breathing apparatus on each fire engine and those sent to the scene were wearing them," he said. "Two of our drivers were affected when they were sitting in an ambulance as they weren\’t aware of the chlorine accumulating around them."