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Ammonia Tanker Leak in Ludhiana Leads to 6 Deaths; 100 Hospitalised

In a tragic accident, an ammonia tanker leaked the deadly gas near Ludhiana, killing 6 people and affecting 100 people with breathing problem on Saturday morning while it was moving under a flyover on the Daraha bypass near a canal, said reports.

The tanker got stuck under the flyover about 25 km from Ludhiana and began to leak the dangerous gas and police rushed to the scene and begn shifting people affected from the residences nearby to different hospitals in Doraha, Khanna and Ludhiana, said Doraha Police Station’s SHO Rajnish Kumar Sood .

While six peole died , about 100 have been hospitalised so far and the tanker has Gujarat registration number, said the police, saying the identities of the dead victims are yet to be initiated.

ANI reported that even animals and plants nearby were affected due to the leak near the underpass in Doraha. Ludhiana has several ammonia factories and tankers frequently transport ammonia to and fro from the city.

Ammonia is an important ingredient used by Ludhiana’s wool industry for treatment of cotton materials, especially in pre-washing wool.

A chemical compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3, ammonia is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell. It is also used in fertilizers.

When people inhale concentrated ammonia, they feel burning sesation in their throat, nose and the respiratory tract resulting in bronchiolar and alveolar edema, and airway block resulting in breathing failure. Eyes will soon experience irritation and over exposure results in eye damage and blindness. Skin burns is another indication of it.

Even lower concentrations cause respiratory problems such as cough, nose and throat inflammation. The moment someone smells ammonia’s odor, which is similar to urinal smell, care should be taken to cover the nose or filter the air, else they it causes olfactory fatigue. Children should not be exposed to ammonia odor for long as their lung inhalation is higher than adults and they face side effects immediately.

Once exposed to ammonia, chilldren and adults should immediately wash their eyes and skin with water for longer hours and consult doctor immediately. While there is no antidoate to ammonia poisoning, administration of humidified oxygen, bronchodilators and airway clearance helps patients in the hospital.

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