The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on Thursday ordered closure of the dyeing unit here where four persons died after inhaling toxic gas while cleaning the effluent collection tank on Wednesday evening.

TNPCB District Environmental Engineer (in-charge) M. Malaiyandi told The Hindu that the closure order was served on the unit for its failure to comply with the pollution control norms stipulated by the government as well as the directive of Supreme Court pertaining to pollution caused by the units on water bodies.

“We have also directed the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to disconnect the power supply to the unit.”

The action was taken under the Section 33 A of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

Mr. Malaiyandi said the main charge against the unit was that they did not follow the set principles of using mechanical equipment for cleaning as well as removal of sludge from the effluent treatment plants.

Instead, they deployed the workers to clean the effluent collection tank in the plant manually, he pointed out.

The other charge was that the unit was not ensuring zero liquid discharge in its effluent treatment process.

According to him, the death of workers has been caused by them inhaling the hydrogen sulphide formed inside the tank. “The hydrogen sulphide is produced inside such closed tanks after the organic substances in the effluents gets digested by microorganisms due to the absence of air in it,” he said.

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