Mettur, 28 September 2008: There was a massive gas leak of HCFC 22 (Hydrogenated Chloroflouro Carbon 22) from Chemplast Plant I, manufacturing Chloroflouro Carbons this evening at 5.30 p.m. The leak lasted more than an hour. People experienced severe nose and eyes burning, and a bitter, bilious taste in their mouths, inducing them to spit often. The smoke was white in colour, and had an irritating, acidic odour.
Two versions are making the rounds about what happened: that the smoke emanated from some chemicals that were brought in from Cuddalore for use as raw material; that there was a rupture in a pipeline.
The Fire Department and the Government Hospital do not know the name or nature of the chemical.
Four people from Thangamapuripatnam have been hospitalised at the Government Hospital. It is reported that Thangamapuripatnam is where the smoke settled.