SEPA rules out environmental pollution as cause for Kemari deaths
The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has ruled out the presence of any toxic gases or other air pollution that could have contributed to the 20 deaths in as many days in a small neighborhood of Kemari District of Karachi.
The report stated that they had analyzed air samples collected from Ali Muhammad Goth in Union Council 8 of Mawach Goth, Kemari district.
The report tested the air for the presence of hazardous materials including vapors of Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Ozone, particulate matter, suspended particulate matter, lead and other volatile organic compounds.
It revealed that the victims did not die because of toxic gases.
“Results obtained from laboratory does not indicate excess of any parameter in air quality which could lead to casualties from inhaling of any toxic gas,” the report read.
“The recent incident held at Ali Muhammad Village is never be linked with air pollution or presence of toxic gasses in surrounding vicinity.”
Instead, it said that the mysterious deaths could be due to non-environmental causes.
“Health department needs to look into possibility of any infectious disease or ingestion of contaminated food, etc,” the report recommended.
The report added that the actual cause of death can be determined after forming an investigation team comprising health experts.
Further, the report said that they had conducted door-to-door survey in the area and initiated legal action against illegal commercial and industrial activities in the neighborhood.
Karachi police considering exhumation
The Karachi Police on Tuesday decided to perform autopsy of buried victims of Kemari incidents, who died due to suspicious respiratory tract infections.
At least 20 died in Kemari area during the past two weeks due to suspicious respiratory tract infections.
Among those who perished, 17 were children. At the same time, four members of a family also passed due to the mysterious disease, locals said.
They added that currently, some 30–35 children are suffering from the mystery illness.
The police have considered the option of undergoing autopsy of the bodies to find out the reason behind the deaths. Exhumation will be carried out soon for conducting the process.
The police have also started investigation from surrounding factories to discover the material behind the emission of harmful gases.