How the sludge turns fatal

Updated - April 02, 2016 01:24 am IST

Published - February 01, 2015 08:26 am IST - VELLORE

“I heard a big explosion around 1 a.m. When I came out, I was shocked to find the sludge gushing forth like a tsunami, breaking the tannery wall and drowning the 10 workers who were sleeping,” says K. Ravi, supervisor at the tannery.

He had come for night duty at the R.K. Tannery located adjacent to the Common Effluent Treatment Plant where a mixture of chemicals, including sulphuric acid, ammonia, sodium chloride and few others, were being treated.

“They were all sleeping in the watchman’s room when they drowned. Suddenly, the sludge entered inside the tannery,” says Ravi, recalling the horror night. He went up to the terrace and saved himself.

Aminul Ali Khan, the other survivor, was caught in the sludge but was rescued by the Fire and Rescue Services personnel using a rope and an extension ladder.

Over 35 fire service personnel were engaged in saving the workers and retrieving the bodies, said Meenakshi, Deputy Director of Fire and Rescue Services, Vellore. 

“We had to use rubber gloves, face masks and gum boots in view of the thickness of the sludge and the toxic fumes from the sludge,” she said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.