Singapore technician jailed in toxic gas release that killed Indian national in Sept 2020

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SINGAPORE: A senior operations technician at the Singapore Refining Company was sentenced to four months’ jail for directing foreign workers to work when toxic gas was released into the air from a plant which killed a 30-year-old Indian national. Leck Ching Hwa, 47, who was the senior operations technician at the time of the incident, was sentenced last Friday and admitted that he had been negligent at the oil refinery plant on Merlimau Road on Jurong Island.
Palanivel Pandidurai, a 30-year-old Indian national, died five days later of multi-organ failure following chemical burns from some toxic gas in an incident on September 17, 2020.
Palanivel, and Periyasamy Kolanginathan, who were then working for a firm called PEC, were exposed to hydrogen sulphide gas and collapsed. Their colleague, Narayanan Murasoli, also collapsed when he tried to rescue the pair.
The trio were rushed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital on that day.
Periyasamy and Narayanan also suffered serious injuries but survived. Court documents did not disclose details about their nationalities and ages, according to a report by The Straits Times on Monday.
Hydrogen sulphide is a colourless poisonous gas that has a foul odour similar to that of rotten eggs. It is commonly found in the production of crude oil and natural gas. Hydrogen sulphide is also flammable and volatile.
Ministry of Manpower prosecuting officer Melvyn Low told the court that Palanivel was found to have sustained chemical burns on 40 per cent of his total body surface area.
He also had extensive blistering and peeling of the skin over his upper abdomen and back. He later developed multiple organ failure during his stay in the intensive care unit and died on September 22, 2020.
Meanwhile, Periyasamy sustained 9.5 per cent superficial partial thickness burns to his upper back, hip area and legs. He was discharged on September 21, 2020.
Narayanan, who suffered a chemical injury to his eyes and abrasions to places including his back, was discharged three days later.

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