CARACAS – At least eight people died and 100 others required medical assistance after inhaling chlorine gas that leaked from an overturned tanker near the town of Clarines, 250 kilometers (155 miles) east of Caracas.
The governor of Anzoategui state, Tarek William Saab, said the accident occurred Wednesday night and forced authorities to evacuate nearby homes and cut the flow of the traffic in the area until the gas had completely dispersed.
According to statements gathered by media outlets, the victims were local residents and people driving by in their vehicles at the time of the accident. One witness said “the strong smell caused people to get out of their vehicles; some fainted in just a few seconds.”
Authorities, meanwhile, recommended that people shut off air conditioners and use facial masks; they were also told not to place wet towels on their faces because that worsens the intoxication.
Apparently, the eight people died after the chlorine reacted with the mucus in their lungs and formed hydrochloric acid. EFE