Mettur Residents Report Chlorine Leak from Chemplast Plant III

28 September, 2006. Mettur Dam -- Shopkeepers and shop-goers near the Raman Nagar commercial area opposite the gates of Chemplast Sanmar factory were assailed by a wave of chlorine gas at around 2 p.m. today. The gas was reportedly released from the company's Plant III. Usually, such incidents last about 15 to 20 minutes during which time the smell is so intense that it burns the insides of one's nose. Mr. Satyamoorthy, who reported the incident, said he was unable to stay at the site long enough to ascertain the duration of the chlorine wave. Chemplast manufactures chlorine and caustic soda using an outdated mercury cell process at Mettur Dam. Local residents say gas leaks and even major incidents involving injuries are common place.

About 100 people were reportedly exposed to chlorine during a major gas leak in July 2004. A 22-day old child and more than 20 others had to be hospitalised. No action was taken against the company. No compensation or long-term medical assistance has been provided for the victims.