Probe into Tughlakabad chemical leak hits speed bump

NEW DELHI
11 Jun 2017

A probe into a chemical leak in a Tughlakabad container depot, triggering noxious fumes which hit scores of schoolgirls here, seems to have hit a speed bumpQuestions about the leak may not be answered for months, as the Delhi Police is now sending a formal request to a China-based firm to ascertain whether containers transported to India were packaged keeping Delhi's weather in mind. Investigators said they have initiated the process of sending a letters rogatory (LR) for answers to certain questions that rose during its probe. However, the process of sending an LR and receiving answers is a time-consuming one and is expected to delay the investigation. The chemical leak on May 6 from the Tughlakabad container depot had affected over 450 girl students, a few teachers and some residents. The police are also considering the possibility of writing to the China-based firm through the external affairs ministry, police sources said."We have to ask the firm whether they were also responsible for the safe transportation of the chemical since it was packaged at their warehouse," the sources said.
The spill happened because of the poor packaging and transportation of chloromethyl pyridine, the police found in its probe. The police have to ascertain whether the packaging was done keeping in mind Indian climatic conditions. "The material in which the chemical is kept for safe keep is tested under certain conditions. We have to determine whether the material was chosen with Indian weather in consideration," a senior officer said. For instance, in India, the temperature in May was above 40 degrees Celsius but a lot lower in China. The police had registered an FIR in the case under various sections of the IPC and the Environment (Protection) Act against unidentified persons.(PTI)