The State government has constituted a four-member enquiry committee to go into the causes of the acid leak incident that occurred at Shasun Pharmaceuticals Ltd (formerly known as Shasun Chemicals and Drugs Ltd) located in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate here that caused health hazards to the local community on Monday night.

The fumes arising out of the acid leak caused health complications such as irritation in the eyes, skin allergy, vomiting sensation and so on, requiring hospitalisation of 71 people, including 11 children. It is stated that some of the bottles carrying bromine stored in the company godown spilled and reacted with hydrochloric acid, resulting in thick fumes.

The panel has been directed to complete the probe and submit its report within a month to the government, according to a statement released here by District Collector P.Seetharaman.

The panel comprises the following experts: V.Selvaraj, Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories, Tiruchy; S.Rathinam, Additional Chief Inspector of Factories (Retd), Tiruchi; R.K.Elangovan, Incharge Director, Regional Labour Institute, Adayar, Chennai; and R.Varadarajulu, Chief Manager, United India Insurance Company Ltd, Whites Road, Chennai.

The terms of reference are as follows: the panel should find out the reasons for the bromine leak and the resultant fumes, and recommend technical measures to avert such a hazardous happening in future. The panel has also been given the task of scrutinising the production technology and chemical handling practices adopted by the government, and, to detect any shortcomings in these aspects. It should also recommend the ways and means of improving the health and safety aspects in the manufacturing process adopted by the company management.

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