Sixty-seven students and teachers have been treated after they passed out due to exposure to chemical gas leaked from the KIMA Aswan Chemical Material Manufacturing Factory in Aswan, Upper Egypt.
On Monday morning, a yellowish cloud was seen over parts of Aswan's downtown, according to eyewitnesses.
Initial reports say the cloud was chemical gas leaked from the KIMA chemical facility, and that dozens of students and teachers at Hussein Mersal Technical School for girls suffered asphyxiation from the gas, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported .
The Aswan governor has ordered the immediate shutdown of the nitric acid unit at the factory.
KIMA is a state-owned Egyptian Chemical Industries Company. Its main facility is located in the southeast of Aswan.
A statement by Egypt's Business Sector Ministry said that the accident took place after the oxygen supply for the nitric acid unit at the old factory was inadvertently reduced.
According to the Ministry of Health deputy in Aswan, 55 students and teachers have been released after receiving treatment and the rest are in stable condition.
In September, Aswan Governor Ahmed Ibrahim announced the preparation of a comprehensive report on the environmental pollution and its impact on the health of citizens living in residential areas surrounding the factory, to be submitted to the prime minister.