At least five people including fire personnel were critically injured after a fluorine gas cylinder exploded in the municipal water purification unit at Jakribettu here on Monday March 5.
The intensity of the fluorine vapour was such that several had to be hospitalised. Fire personnel were called from Bantwal and Mangalore, and during the rescue operation, two firemen too were injured, it is learnt.
Sources said that the workers at the unit had noticed a leak in the gas cylinder at around 7.45 pm. They immediately informed the fire services and tried to fix the leak. However, due to inhalation of the gas, they took ill and the fire personnel who tried to save them also were affected.
Thereafter, the other fire personnel wore oxygen masks and entered the unit and continued the rescue operation.
Hundreds of people gathered near the spot.
Circle inspector Anil Kulkarni together with city and rural police arrived at the spot and issued strict prohibitory orders. People in the locality and surrounding areas have been warned.
A blanket ban has been issued against the movement of cars and people for a radius of one kilometre around the unit.