Malaysia's Ministry of Education has shut down 111 schools on Wednesday, March 13 in Johor after a suspected chemical leak last week. Due to the incident more than 200 children, teachers and other residents of that area suffered from serious health issues, as they received treatments for poisoning.
As per the reports, the Malaysian authority believes that the poisoning was caused by toxic waste dumped into Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang last Thursday, March 7.
Reuters reported that Education Minister Maszlee Malik said, "Based on the current situation and advisory from the state's disaster management committee, the Ministry of Education has decided to shut all 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang area immediately."
The minister had posted on Facebook that the situation is getting more critical. Maszlee also wrote that the Ministry of Education (KPM) has decided to close "111 schools in Pasir Gudang District effective immediately today (13 March 2019) up to one date that will be notified soon."
"According to that, all students, teachers, staff and employees in all schools regarding no need to attend to their respective school until the situation is back to heal.
"The Malaysian Education Ministry is asking for all parties to take precautions and always be alert with the authorities of the authorities from time to time."
Bernama reported that over 500 people received immediate treatment, while 166 people were hospitalized and nine individuals were shifted to ICU due to their exposure to the toxic fumes.
The poisonous smoke cases have increased after the authority was notified about the increased number of affected students from the surrounding area. Those students were taken to the Taman Pasir Putih community hall for shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting.
Khairuddin Aman Razali, who is a PAS lawmaker, also asked the government to declare a state emergency, due to the escalating situation and wrote in a Facebook post that "Does the government wish to wait for more victims to come forward... before announcing more drastic measures, and not just treatment?"