KILANG memproses ikan yang mengorbankan enam orang akibat terhidu gas ammonia di Kampung Bagan Pasir, di Tanjong Karang, semalam.
TANJONG KARANG: Enam orang, termasuk dua warga Bangladesh meninggal dunia selepas terhidu gas ammonia di kilang memproses ikan yang terletak di sebuah jeti persendirian di Kampung Bagan Pasir, di sini semalam.
Semua mangsa meninggal dunia di tempat kejadian, manakala lima yang lain pengsan dan dirawat di Hospital Tanjong Karang sebelum dipindahkan ke Hospital Sungai Buloh untuk rawatan lanjut.
Mereka yang meninggal dunia ialah adik pemilik kilang, Lim Kean Chew, 35; penduduk berdekatan, Lim Kim Soon, 58, Sia Liang Huat, 33, dan Gan Ayong, 30, serta dua pekerja warga Bangladesh, Sekender Ali, 36, dan Mumin Mia, 20 tahun.
The ABCs of ammonia
Eighty per cent of ammonia produced by industry is used in agriculture as fertiliser.
Ammonia is also used as a refrigerant gas, which was the case in yesterday’s incident in Tanjung Karang where six people died after a leak at a refrigeration facility.
Other uses of ammonia are to purify water and in the manufacture of plastics, explosives, textiles, pesticides, dyes and other chemicals.
It is also found in many household and industrial-strength cleaning solutions.
How ammonia kills
Ammonia acts immediately upon contact with any available moisture in the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, and particularly mucous surfaces to form the very corrosive ammonium hydroxide.
Ammonium hydroxide leads to cellular destruction, causing cell proteins to break down, resulting in inflammation.
Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation.
Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia causes an immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. This can result in respiratory distress or failure.
Ammonia’s odour is highly noticeable due to its stench but it also causes olfactory (smelling) fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one’s prolonged exposure at low concentrations.
What to do if one comes into prolonged contact with ammonia? Ammonia’s effects can be treated.
Wash affected skin and eyes with copious amounts of water.
Ingested liquid ammonia is diluted with milk or water.