Johor Health Dept warns of fake news about toxic fumes incident

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - The Johor Health Department rubbished viral messages that the toxic fumes incident in Johor has claimed lives and that a red alert has been issued by one of its hospitals.

State health director Dr Selahuddeen Abdul Aziz clarified that a message going around on WhatsApp claiming that Hospital Sultan Ismail Johor Baru has issued a red alert is false.

"The department also wishes to clarify that up until now, there have been no deaths following the toxic dumping incident," it said, and advised people not to spread false information that could cause a panic.

"The department also urges the people to be more careful and to obtain genuine information from the relevant authorities.

"The latest information (about the incident) will be published by the State Disaster Management Committee (Jawatankuasa Pengurusan Bencana Negeri) from time to time," he said in a statement issued on Tuesday (March 12).

A chemical dumping incident that took place at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang last week led to more than 300 people having to receive medical treatment for toxic fumes inhalation.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian had also said the Johor government is investigating several suspects believed to be behind the incident.