Author: Vimukthi Fernando, Maneshka Borham, Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka), Published on: 24 April 2018
“Horana factory tragedy: Lab controller arrested”, 22 Apr 2018
The senior Laboratory Controller of the Horana Rubber Factory where five deaths were reported…due to ammonia gas poisoning was arrested by the police yesterday. According to Police, the 42-year-old female laboratory controller will be produced before the Horana Magistrate today…According to sources, residents also staged a protest…[T]he residents called for the factory to be closed down…Nineteen others who were exposed to the ammonia gas in the incident continue to receive treatment at the Horana Base Hospital…The Department of Labour has launched an investigation into the Industrial accident which took place at the rubber factory in Bellapitiya, Horana… Exposure to ammonia…is assumed to be the cause of death…The Central Environment Authority (CEA) has also temporarily suspended the license of the rubber factory following the incident. Multiple deaths at the latex factory could have been avoided if there had been a proper warning system, claim residents…According to the Police, the Factory Manager who was arrested on the grounds of negligence was produced before Horana Acting Magistrate Kanthi Kannangara on Friday, and remanded till April 25…Director of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Dr. Champika Amarasinghe reiterated the need to employ proper health and safety management systems and environment management systems in workplaces. In the case of the Horana rubber factory, the working was not conducive and workers were unaware of health and safety standards, she said.
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