Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad says there would be consequences for those responsible for releasing toxic fumes that left scores of people ill and over 400 schools closed in the country’s Pasir Gudang district, in southern Johor state.
According to AFP, many people including schoolchildren started vomiting and developing breathing difficulties after noticing the fumes in the industrial area last week.
In a similar incident in the area in March, thousands of people got sick when waste was dumped in a river and emitted noxious fumes.
Chief Minister for Johor State, Sahruddin Jamal disclosed that 75 people have so far been hospitalised in the latest incident.
He further said that 475 educational institutions in the area have also been closed until Thursday as a result of the toxic leak.
The affected institutions include three institutes of higher education, 111 public schools, 14 private schools, and 347 kindergartens.
Although it was not clear what caused the latest incident, the chief minister said 30 chemical factories in the area were undergoing investigations.
The Prime Minister said, “It seems like there are factories that are not very concerned about safety.
“We have to identify those responsible for causing pollution and take stern action against them.”