At least 40 people, mostly women and children, were rushed to hospital by emergency workers in Kano after inhaling what residents said was a poisonous gas at Bachirawa Kwanar Dawanau in Kano metropolis.
The incident happened around 5pm at a local aluminum smelting shop, when a young blacksmith damaged the cap of an industrial cylinder said to be containing the toxic gas, which quickly circulated in the air and knocked many residents into state of unconsciousness.
Secretary of the Bachirawa Scrap Market Association where the incident occurred, Sanusi Adamu Abbas, told Daily Trust that the boy attempted to remove the cylinder’s brass cover, when the content started flowing.
“As soon as residents inhaled it, they collapsed. About 40 people, mostly housewives and children, were affected and taken to the hospital,” he said.
The secretary also said that efforts by other scrap dealers at the market to stop the leak did not succeed for hours, until after experts were invited.
“Most of the victims have been treated and discharged from the hospital before nightfall,” he said.
Confirming the incident, operations officer of Kano State Fire Service, Kasim Musa, said as soon as people inhaled the substance, they fell unconscious, adding that 40 people had been taken to the hospital for treatment.