The People’s Committee of HCM City’s Bình Chánh District has asked authorities to supervise the discharge of ammonia gas (NH3) at all branches of Vinh Loc Co Ltd (Photo:

HCM City (VNA) - The People’s Committee of Binh Chanh district in Ho Chi Minh City has asked authorities to supervise the discharge of ammonia gas (NH3) at all branches of Vinh Loc Co Ltd.

This follows the leaking of 7,000 litres of the toxic gas at a filling station in An Phu Tay commune on October 10.

Four people were hospitalised and thousands evacuated in the mishap.

At a conference on October 11, Chairman of Binh Chanh district’s People’s Committee Tran Phu Lu said the committee had asked the city’s People’s Committee to clarify responsibilities of management agencies who granted a licence to the company.

It would propose the city authority develop a plan for removing such stations from residential areas to avoid similar incidents.

Lu said the committee would work with the municipal Department of Health to monitor concentrations of ammonia in the air at these stations.

The leak occurred at about 9am on October 10 when a gas tanker driver failed to follow safety rules while extracting NH3 at the filling station, causing a valve to burst open.

Four people, including the driver, were hospitalised after fainting from gas inhalation. The gas also killed many plants, livestock and poultry nearby. Thousands of residents, including students from a local primary school, were immediately evacuated out of the area.

Firefighters were rushed to the site to spray water in the air to dissolve the leaked ammonia.

Lu said that by October 11 afternoon, one patient had recovered and been discharged from hospital. The remaining patients, workers of the company, were still being treated.

All those who were affected have since returned to work, apart from six people in two households next to the filling station.

The People’s Committee of An Phu Tay commune said that it had found a temporary home for the two households.

The accident site has been blocked and security guards mobilised to protect property of the two households.

Vo Thi Hoang Oanh, Secretary of An Pha Tay commune’s Party Committee, said the committee was evaluating the losses of affected residents and would tell the company to pay compensation.

The 7,000 litres of gas lost was worth about 300 million VND (13,200 USD).

The committee, together with the district authority, has inspected An Phu Tay Primary School and Nguyen Van Linh Secondary School, where about 1,000 students were moved due to the incident. All the students resumed their study at schools.-VNA