Sneaky leak

  • 30/01/2006

An accidental chlorine gas leakage caused panic in downtown Scarborough in Tobago recently.

Chemicals used for treating an abandoned sewer plant on the eTeck Mall compound, formerly the tidco Mall, at Sangster's Hill in Lower Scarborough, was responsible for the leakage. Lower Scarborough had to be shut down for the day and some people had to be hospitalised due to complaints like fainting, nausea and breathing problems due to the gas leakage.

Tobago News' investigation revealed the sewer plant, which once treated waste from the nearby nib Mall and the eTeck Mall, was abandoned almost ten years ago, when the Smithfield Treatment Plant was commissioned. They found that the chlorine-treated waste was pumped into a nearby drain leading to the sea in the port area.

The Tobago News office, located in the eTeck Mall, was at the centre of the action when the leak occurred. But most staff and customers in the mall and other businesses remained oblivious for long and complained that the authorities failed to warn them.