Two killed in gas leakage at Pakistan’s nuclear plant

April 8th, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, April 8 (Xinhua) At least two employees were killed and hundreds evacuated Tuesday following a leakage of hydrogen sulphide gas at a nuclear facility in eastern Pakistan, officials and media reports said. The leakage of non-radioactive but toxic gas at the nuclear reactor in Khushab - about 250 km south of Islamabad, where Pakistan built the 40-50 Megawatt Thermal Research Reactor in April 1998 - also left several workers at the facility unconscious, the state-run PTV said. It did not report what caused the leakage.

“The situation was immediately brought under control and two workers lost their lives while controlling the incident,” a statement from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) said.

The PAEC statement clarified that there was no threat to public life from gas leakage from the Khushab heavy water plant.

“There is no threat to public life as all the leaked gas has been burnt in the flare system of the plant,” the statement said.

“All necessary steps were taken to protect the plant, including evacuation of personnel as a precautionary measure, in accordance with the Standing Operating System (SOP),” it added.

Orders for an in-depth inquiry into the causes of the incident have been issued.

Meanwhile, District Coordination Officer Mohammad Saleh said that the people who were knocked unconscious were now out of danger.

This was the second such incident of gas leakage at the Khushab plant. Five people were killed two years ago when a gas cylinder exploded while being unloaded from a truck at the site.

The Khushab plant is under the control of Pakistan’s military and is used to produce plutonium that can be used in nuclear weapons.

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