Surat: At least six factory workers have died and 20 others fell unconscious after inhaling toxic fumes leaking from a chemical tanker parked near a factory in Gujarat's Surat district early Thursday morning, reported the PTI news agency.
According to Surat Municipal Corporation's in-charge chief fire officer Basant Pareek said, the workers were sleeping inside the dyeing factory, located in Sachin industrial area, when the incident took place.
Those who have fallen sick have been admitted to the Surat Civil Hospital.
As per the officer, the fire department received a call around 4.25 am, adding that 25 to 26 workers fell unconscious after inhaling the toxic fumes coming out of the chemical tanker parked on a roadside near the factory.
"They all were rushed to the new civil hospital. At least six workers have so far died in the hospital," the official said.
The fire department later managed to close the tanker's valve to stop the leakage, he said.
A report carried by the publication indicates that the accidental gas leakage occurred when a tanker driver was pouring chemicals into a drain near the printing mill. By the time people in the vicinity understood what was happening, the poisonous gases had already whisked across through the open outlets and taken the lives of as many as five people in the moments after.
As per reports, the local police are still carrying out relief and rescue operations in the area.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel took to Twitter to express his condolences. "Many people have unfortunately died due to gas leak in Surat. May the departed souls rest in peace and their kin get the strength to bear this. I also pray for the well-being of those who have fallen ill in this incident," he wrote.