Rescue personnel rendering immediate emergency assistance to students who breath in hazardous gas. (Photo: Johor Fire and Rescue Department)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Thirty-five people, mainly students, have been hospitalised after breathing in methane from chemical waste that had been illegally dumped into a river in Pasir Gudang, Johor state, Malaysian authorities said on March 7.

According to Johor state’s rescue and fire-fighter forces, the victims, aged from seven to 40 years old, are students and kitchen staffers of two nearby schools.

“Twenty-one people are warded at the Sultan Ismail Hospital here including three in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), five are being treated at the emergency unit of the hospital while the rest were given outpatient treatment and allowed to go home," Bernama quoted Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Sahruddin Jamal as saying.

He said that all of them are now in stable condition.

Earlier, more than 1,000 people, mostly students, were evacuated after the Johor Fire and Rescue Department received an emergency call from the Pasir Gudang district reporting a strong smell, suspected to be chemicals in the location.

The situation is under control and the smell of gas is less now, Sahruddin Jamal said, adding that authorities have taken samples from the site for further investigation.-VNA