, ABUJA, May 31 – A cloud of poisonous chlorine gas swept over a densely populated suburb of the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, causing 300 people to fall unconscious, a minister said Sunday.
A worker at a scrap yard in Kakuri district tried to cut a gas cylinder into pieces with a blow torch, setting off an explosion Saturday and unleashing a cloud of chlorine gas, said Federal Environment Minister John Odey.
No one was killed but "300 people including children that inhaled the gas were rendered unconscious and were taken to the hospitals and clinics," Odey said in a statement.
"The situation was made worse by the prevailing wind that carried the pollutant deep into the surrounding settlements," he added.
The scrap metal dealer and welder both fled and have yet to be apprehended.