JOHOR BARU: Parents of SMK and SK Tanjung Puteri Resort students gathered at a community hall in Pasir Gudang here, anxious to know the condition of their children, who are suffering the same symptoms as students in two other schools.
The students were said to suffer shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, after inhaling methane fumes from chemicals that were dumped into Sungai Kim Kim.
The two schools are Taman Pasir Putih and SMK Pasir Putih, located about 3 km from SMK and SK Tanjung Puteri Resort. They were ordered to be closed by state authorities.
The parents of the students from SMK and SK Tanjung Puteri Resort were seen arriving in stages since 11am, and by noon, they were waiting for more information about their children’s health and condition from the authorities.
Noratikah Daud, 47, said she was informed at 10.30am through the school’s Whatsapp message group that her daughter, Affza Balqis Ahmad Sahrel, 14, a Form 2 student, was experiencing shortness of breath.
“I went to the school and was told that my daughter had been sent to the hall. I am not even sure if she is at this hall or at the Sultan Ismail Hospital (HSI) now,” she told reporters at the community hall.
Another mother Zuraidah Sibok, 45, said that she was also told that her daughter Nurul Maizura Azima Mansor, 13, had breathing difficulties but was not sure of her actual condition.
“My house is not far from the school (SMK Tanjung Puteri Resort). I did not feel good about letting my daughter go to school but was afraid the teacher would be angry.
“Later, I heard the sound of the ambulance pass my house before I was told that my daughter was having breathing difficulties and was among the earliest group of students sent to the community hall for treatment,” she said.
Among agencies and personnel present to provide assistance were enforcement officers from the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council, members of the People’s Volunteer Corp (Rela), the Civil Defence Force, the Fire and Rescue Department and health workers.
It is understood that the affected students were sent to the HSI for further treatment.
To date, eight students from SK Tanjung Puteri Resort were confirmed to be receiving treatment at HSI, while many others were given early treatment at the community hall, said Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
The two schools are located 3.2 km from the two schools which were closed down yesterday, SK Taman Pasir Putih and SMK Pasir Putih. — Bernama