On Thursday, seventy children were hospitalised as they took ill after allegedly inhaling 'smoke' emanating from a plant of state-owned Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML) at Chavara near Kollam. Authorities forced to to shut it down temporarily.
The children were rushed to nearby hospitals after they developed symptoms of uneasiness and some of them vomited.
Hospital sources said that the condition of none of the children, students of three nearby schools, was stated to be serious.
The incident sparked protest in the area with local people converging before the plant alleging that the company had failed to improve safety measures despite recurrence of such incidents.
The plant processes minerals and metals and the officials of the plant said that the smoke was caused by burning of charcoal and "not very dangerous or obnoxious".
Ramesh Cehnnithala, state home minister visited the hospitals where children were admitted and said a high-level inquiry would be ordered into the incident.
He told reporters that a team of scientists and engineers would be deputed to the study the problem and suggest measures for putting in place a foolproof the safety mechanism.
Following protests, the Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers, the state regulator for safety of factories, ordered closure of the plant till "corrective measures" are taken.