Mumbai: Post pest control, 18 pharma workers end up with red eyes

Eighteen employees of a Kandivli-based pharmaceutical company, including two women, were rushed to a nearby hospital after they complained of itching in their eyes and unclear vision on Wednesday morning

Eighteen employees of a Kandivli-based pharmaceutical company, including two women, were rushed to a nearby hospital after they complained of itching in their eyes and unclear vision on Wednesday morning. Police suspect that it was the job of the pest control products that were sprayed in the office premises on Tuesday evening while the employees were present there.

Employees being treated at Oscar Hospital and a police officer takes statements of others
Employees being treated at Oscar Hospital and a police officer takes statements of others

According to sources, the employees of Ajanta Pharma Ltd, situated at Government Industrial Estate, Charkop, were rushed to Oscar Hospital within a hour of them reporting to work. “We reached the office and started working. After sometime I experienced itching in my eyes. When others also reported a similar problem, everybody started panicking. The senior company officials then rushed us to Oscar Hospital,” said Yuvraj Mhadik, one of the patients.

Police sources said the company had carried out pest control on Tuesday evening without asking the employees, who were still conducting chemical analysis, to vacate the building. They suspect that the chemical reaction might have made the employees sick. Vilas Patil, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Malwani division, said, “Preliminary investigations revealed that it happened due to a chemical reaction after pest control. We have taken statements of all the victims but have not booked anyone in the case. The investigation is on.”

Out of the 18 employees, 14 are able to see clearly, but four are still unable to open their eyes properly. “When all of them were brought into the hospital, they were not able to see properly, were experiencing severe burning sensation in their eyes and their eyes were watering. There is some improvement in the health of 14 of them but four patients are still not able to open their eyes properly. We are treating them,” said Dr Satish Vane from Oscar Hospital.

The company representatives said when many employees experienced similar health issues, they immediately took them to the hospital. “We had carried out pest control in the company on Tuesday while the employees were in the office. When they reported to work this morning, some of them in the laboratory on the ground, second and third floors complained of similar itching in their eyes. We rushed them to the hospital immediately,” said legal manager of the company Rajeev Singh.

All these employees are still under medical care in the hospital. “My eyes started watering and itching. I tried to open my eyes but due to the reaction, we were unable to face the sunlight,” said Amul Kamble, another employee.

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