Third such incident in three weeks

A gas leak in a cold storage facility on the northern fringe of the city led to panic in the area on Sunday evening, as there is a private hospital nearby.

The ammonia gas leak occurred at 4 p.m. in the old storage facility at Nager Bazar in Dum Dum, North 24 Parganas district. Six fire tenders were rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control, said sources at the Fire and Emergency Services Department.

Trouble in gaining access

However, firemen had trouble in gaining access to the building, which is located on a narrow street in a highly congested area. The presence of the private hospital close to the building meant steps had to be taken to evacuate the people inside.

Panic spread in the area as the acrid fumes began spreading rapidly. Residents of the locality began to flee their homes, complaining of a burning sensation in the skin, eyes and throats and a general physical uneasiness. Traffic on Jessore Road, a busy thoroughfare that passes through the area, had to be diverted.

Concerns expressed

Three weeks ago, one person was killed and many fell seriously ill when there was an ammonia gas leak following a tanker burst in an ice factory near Barrackpore. Concerns were expressed on whether the licences of the factory should be cancelled, as it was located in a residential area.

Ten days later, another gas leak occurred inside an abandoned cold storage in the heart of the city, though none was hurt.

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