Kuwait Gas Leak
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KUWAIT: A gas leak took place while drilling an oil well wednesday at the Al-Rawdhatain oilfield, Kuwait Oil Company and security sources said, as that the pungent and repulsive smell of hydrogen sulfide reached as far as Kuwaiti City as reported by many residents. The sources said Abdali firemen and KOC emergency teams later contained the leak by burning out the escaping gas to prevent it from spreading far.
Notably, inhaling sulfur gas may cause dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea, stressed security and health sources, noting that residents within a 4-km diameter around the oilfield were evacuated. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. Hospitals reported an increase in patients suffering from ailments after inhaling the gas, while the Ministry of Education denied rumours that schools and colleges will be closed today.
KOC’s deputy managing director for exploration Khalid Al-Sumaiti had earlier stressed that all needed efforts were being exerted to control the leak either by stopping it or by burning it out. He added that despite reports that the gas had reached as far as 80 km, the gas density in the air had not reached dangerous levels.
Chairman of the environmental Green Line Group Khaled Al-Hajri criticised the statements made by Sumaiti in which he focused on resuming oil production rather than the environmental effect of the gas and its possible effect on people’s health. He also warned that this type of gas has dangerous effects on respiratory systems and kidneys, and advised the public to stay indoors and tightly close windows. If the gas has already entered the house, it needs to be ventilated to avoid the gas’ toxic effects. KOC officials said its teams had fanned across the state to measure the concentration of gas in the air, adding that it had not reached toxic levels.
by Hanan Al-Sa’doun, Staff Writer
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