Malaysia: 111 Schools Shut After Chemical Leak Poisonings

Malaysia: 111 Schools Shut After Chemical Leak Poisonings

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said at the moment, the situation is under control.

However, he reminded all quarters to exercise extra caution in view of the crisis not being over. "We will study whether the Act should be strengthened", he told reporters after visiting victims of the contamination at the Sultan Ismail Hospital here today.

According to investigators' initial reports, a truck is believed to have dumped toxic waste in southern Johor state last week, releasing risky fumes over a large area and causing widespread poisoning symptoms such as nausea and vomiting among the population.

The number of people treated climbed to 207 compared with 35 reported last week. "What is important is how we handle the situation", said Dr Mahathir.

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"The Fire and Rescue Department, police, hospitals, schools, and others handled the situation admirably", he said.

"Those who are on duty to control and safeguard the situation also need to be prepared for any eventuality", he said, adding that the people should have faith in the government in handling the situation. "I think the people tasked with dealing with this problem, they know their way about and know how to control this unusual poisoning by gas".

Present during the visit were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian.

"Based on the current situation and advisory from the state's disaster management committee, the Ministry of Education have made a decision to shut all 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang area immediately", Education Minister Maszlee Malik said in a statement.

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