(dpa) - Hundreds of people were evacuated on Tuesday after a leakage of hydrogen sulphide gas at a nuclear facility in eastern Pakistan, media reports said.
The leakage of non-radioactive but toxic gas at the nuclear reactor in Khushab, about 250 kilometres south of Islamabad, also left several workers at the facility unconscious, Geo news channel said. It did not report what caused the leakage.
Security forces vacated hundreds of employees from the plant and its adjacent residential colonies that house the employees.
The surrounding area in the radius of 16 kilometres was sealed off after the evacuation, and the residents of a nearby town were also ordered to move to safer places.
It was the second incident of leakage of hydrogen sulphide, which is used in the production of heavy water at the facility.
Five people were killed a couple of years back when a gas cylinder exploded while being unloaded from a truck, an official told on condition of anonymity.
The incident was never made public, given the secret nature of the activity at the plant.
The Khushab plant is used to produce plutonium, that can be used in nuclear weapons. The facility is under the control of country's military. Pakistan tested its first atomic bomb in 1998.