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Gas Leak at Kuala Lumpur Airport Sickens 39 Passengers, Prompts Emergency Response

A gas leak at Kuala Lumpur International Airport's aircraft engineering facility on Thursday resulted in 39 workers falling ill, although there were no reports of serious impact on passengers or flight operations, according to authorities from the Selangor state fire department.

The incident occurred at the Southern Support Zone Sepang Aircraft Engineering facility, which is distinct from the airport's main passenger terminal. The emergency response was initiated following an emergency call received at 11:23 am local time regarding a chemical leak. Fire department personnel, including a hazardous materials team, were dispatched immediately to the scene.

According to a statement from the fire department, the affected individuals were employees of three different companies operating within the engineering facility. Upon exposure to the leaked chemical, identified later as methyl mercaptan—an odorant added to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)—39 people reported symptoms such as dizziness and nausea.

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Of those affected, 14 individuals received onsite treatment at the air disaster unit, while one person required hospitalization for further medical care. Authorities reassured the public that there was no broader risk to public safety beyond the immediate vicinity of the incident.

The leak originated from an unused tank containing methyl mercaptan, which was swiftly identified and isolated by emergency responders. Efforts to contain the leak and secure the affected area were promptly undertaken. Plans were announced to dismantle and dispose of the tank to prevent any future leaks or risks.

Despite the disruption caused by the incident, flight operations at Kuala Lumpur International Airport remained unaffected, with no reports of flight delays or cancellations. The prompt response by emergency services and airport authorities helped mitigate potential risks, ensuring the safety of both airport workers and passengers.

Authorities continued to monitor the situation closely and assured the public of ongoing efforts to prevent similar incidents in the future.

July 5, 2024 4:59 p.m. 422

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