SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The Chilean government on Friday said it had closed some facilities at state-run energy firm ENAP’s port on the country’s central coastline after hundreds of people were treated with symptoms of intoxication following a gas leak.
The leak occurred on Thursday close to the port of Ventanas, 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Santiago, the government said in a statement. Residents, including children at a nearby school, sought medical attention for nausea and vomiting, according to media reports, prompting an investigation.
“We have been able to determine that ENAP was conducting some work that could have resulted in the emission of these toxic gases,” Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt said in a statement.
The ministry earlier said it had shut down operations at ENAP. In a later statement, it clarified that it had shut down facilities only at ENAP’s port suspected of potentially leaking gas.
ENAP said in a statement it had conducted an investigation but thus far found no evidence it was responsible for the gas leak.
“We will continue doing the investigations necessary to eliminate any doubts,” ENAP said.
ENAP runs a refinery that processes 104,000 barrels of oil a day and a maritime port in the area.
Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Susan Thomas and Leslie Adler