The employees, including 35 women staff, who were on the night shift on Friday felt uneasy inhaling a nasty smell fast diffusing within their centrally air-conditioned unit, triggering fears of an alleged gas leak. There are varying figures on the exact number of the staff affected.
Police and official sources in Kancheepuram, the district headquarters, told Deccan Herald that several employees of the company Foxconn Indian Private Limited, situated along the Chennai-Bangalore national highway, complained of irritation and dizziness suddenly while at work on Friday night.
As a precautionary measure everyone was asked to vacate the premises and initially 28 staff members affected were rushed to a private hospital at suburban Porur. They were all later discharged, even as scores of others checked in at hospital on Saturday.
Preliminary enquiries reveal that the company had recently imported an equipment and when the consignment seal was opened, it was found to be infested with a lot of insects, sources said. Apparently, to quell them, the company officials had sprayed an insecticide that triggered the bad odour.
“As the manufacturing unit is centrally air-conditioned, the insecticide smell had no escape route causing problems to the employees, but there is no cause for alarm as all those admitted are getting discharged quickly,” official sources said.
Efforts to reach Foxconn officials were of no avail, as the company had briefly shut shop following the episode.