Bangalore, Dec. 29: A mysterious chemical spill behind Bangalore’s central railway station triggered a scare, after nearby residents felt sick and complained of irritation in their eyes.
The chemical left toxic traces and a stench as it burnt. Breathless locals called the police, who found the viscous liquid in more than 30 barrels - abandoned next to a railway track at Srirampuram. Samples have been sent to the Forensic Science Lab (FSL).
A case has been booked under the Public Nuisance Act; no one has been arrested. But neither the police nor municipal officials are sharing details on where the chemical came from, or exactly what it could be.
"It could be pharma waste," said Environment Officer Shyam Sundar of Karnataka’s Pollution Control Board, adding, "It contains a lot of solvents. I wouldn’t say it is safe."
The toxic waste directly affects hundreds of slum-dwellers in the area, and over 50,000 people living in a five-kilometre radius.
"Everyone thought it was a gas leak. That’s why they came running out of their houses. We complained, but no one came to help us. We are all coolies, and will have to manage like this," says Sampathkumar, a resident.
Meanwhile, local children loiter around barefoot, unaware of the health risk. And with the mystery chemical seeping into the ground and nearby drains, the Bangalore City Corporation needs to act now to check any further damage.