Malaysia: Hundreds ill from toxic waste dumped in river

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By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – Hundreds of Malaysians have fallen sick in country's south after toxic waste was allegedly dumped into a river, media reports said.

According to the daily Star, at least 3,555 people have been affected by the toxic fume at Sungai Kim Kim river in southern Johor region.

Malaysian Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee Chairman Sahruddin Jamal said that 111 schools were closed, adding that kindergartens and preschools in the affected area were also ordered to close.

No casualties have been reported so far.

"Let us wait for the report from the department first," Sahruddin told reporters during a visit to sports hall in Pasir Gudang where victims are admitted for treatment.

Sahruddin was responding to questions whether the authorities have taken action against anyone who might have been involved in the incident.

According to Malay Bernama news agency, police officer Mohamad Fuzi Harun said that no arrests were made so far.

"The police are actively tracking down the irresponsible parties involved in the incident," Harun said at a news conference in Kaula Lumpur on Friday.

Police have received multiple reports, and an investigation was underway, he added.

The contamination at Sungai Kim Kim river was first reported on March 7.

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