28 students hospitalised after alleged 'gas leak' at Delhi government school
28 students from a municipal school in west Delhi's Naraina were hospitalized due to a suspected gas leak. The mayor took cognisance of the matter and ensured an inquiry.
28 students of a municipal school in west Delhi's Naraina were hospitalised on Friday after an alleged incident of gas leak in the area. Two of the affected students were given oxygen support and were reported to be in a better condition later. Of the affected students, 19 were admitted to RML Hospital and nine at Acharya Bhikshuk Hospital.
Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi took stock of the situation and ensured an enquiry into the matter. In an official statement, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi said that the gas leak occurred at the nearby railway tracks.
According to the mayor, the students suddenly smelled something strange and started vomiting. They were immediately brought to the hospital.
However, the Railways issued a statement stating that the authorities have not received any reports of gas leaks from any station and asserted that their wagons never transport any toxic gas that may pose a health hazard.
Parents of some of the affected children claimed that the school authorities did not alert them about the incident. The affected children said they experienced stomach aches and breathing difficulty due to a foul smell.
According to the police officials in the area, they received a call about some students falling sick and vomiting at Nigam Pratibha Vidyalaya in Inderpuri. They, however, said that the exact reason of the incident is yet to be ascertained, reported news agency PTI.
"According to initial assessment, a foul smell filled some classrooms, which made the children feel sick. Apparently, the children had just eaten. The smell has subsided, but as a precaution, all classrooms have been vacated," Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Vichitra Veer said.
Mayor Shelly Oberoi met the students at the hospital and said they were doing fine. "I inform with a great feeling of relief that the two girls who were in RML on oxygen support are fine now. All the children admitted to both hospitals are fine now. We are working to rehabilitate the children to the safe confines of their homes now.
"Delhi Crime's Forensic team visited the school today. They will submit the report identifying the exact reason," she said in a post on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.
The MCD, in a statement, said officials have been directed to probe the incident and find the cause as well as the source of the gas leak.
Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva met the students at RML hospital. He said neither the students nor the teachers were able to say what caused the incident and the civic body should probe the matter. In a statement later, Sachdeva accused the AAP of "misleading" the families of students by saying they have been affected by a gas leak.
Meanwhile, the Leader of Opposition of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and former Mayor, Raja Iqbal Singh, claimed that the children fell ill after consuming the midday meals at the school. He claimed that the Mayor and her party were trying to blame the incident on the gas leak to save themselves.
He questioned why only children were affected due to the “gas leak”, while the teachers were all fine. He also pointed out that the local people residing in the area should also have been affected, which was not the case.
Expressing regret over the incident, Singh demanded an impartial inquiry by the corporation administration into the whole matter. He demanded the formation of an inquiry committee comprising councillors from the opposition party as well.