Letters

Letters To The Editor, 3rd March, 2016

Sodium Cyanide Incident Pramesh Sharma,  SUVA   It is shocking to learn of the mishap on our road where a truck transporting hazardous chemicals veered off the road at Wainibuka
03 Mar 2016 10:00
Letters To The Editor, 3rd March, 2016

Sodium Cyanide Incident

Pramesh Sharma,  SUVA

 

It is shocking to learn of the mishap on our road where a truck transporting hazardous chemicals veered off the road at Wainibuka near the village of Natokolau in Tailevu. It is more concerning when this particular chemical, sodium cyanide, is highly toxic and lethal.

The effects of sodium cyanide when inhaled cause harmful corrosive effect to the respiratory tract. It can cause headache, weakness, breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting. This can be followed by weak and irregular heartbeat, unconsciousness, convulsions and eventually death.

When ingested, it is highly poisonous! It is corrosive to the intestinal tract with severe burning. Larger doses can produce sudden loss of consciousness and prompt death from respiratory arrest.

Smaller but still lethal doses may prolong the illness for one or more hours however eventual death. Sodium cyanide is a highly toxic chemical compound and is a deadly human poison.

The solid sodium cyanide is not so dangerous in passing, you can open a bottle with 3000 times the lethal dose without any problems (without letting it react with moisture and convert to hydrogen cyanide).

The advice for anyone nearby would be to avoid drinking the contaminated water and stay out of the area while the hydrogen cyanide is processed by authorities.

It amazes me to think with what this particular hazardous chemical can do on any level of exposure, there are no strict measures and controls in place when this chemical is transported.

This should be escorted and those in the vehicle should know exactly what to do when any disaster happens. Neutralisers should accompany the vehicle transporting such dangerous chemicals.

This chemical is far more lethal than arms and ammunition as it detonates (becomes a deadly gas) when it comes into contact with moisture or water. The whole downstream of Wainibuka River is at risk, short, medium and long term if we have not properly address this.

I urge authorities to get expert advice on the spill before simply giving the all clear.

 

Heroic Stories

Amenatave Yaconisau ,  DELAINAVESI

 

We hear the touching experience  of people on radio, newspapers and the internet; of people running into heavy violent winds, flying debris and some places heavy waves just to save others.

We thank the heroic spirits, and courage shown by people to save relatives.  Some you can say  were fearless in the face of obvious peril to their own safety, completely divorced from reason and common sense.

It is  wonderful that in time of great danger there are some people who can rise above it and provide comfort for others. They hide their despair and will not live others to fate.

They live through the cyclone with loved ones,even in the face of death.  They teach many good values to children; others first me later.  It just inspire confidence and hope as if there was brightness the next day.

On the other hand being preachy and instructive in this time of great pain is like telling a man with a rope around his neck to rejoice  and everything will be okay.

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