Gas Leak From A Chemical Factory In Vizag Kills 6 And Renders Many Unconscious

Gas Leakage In A Chemical Plant In Vizag

Highlights:

  • A gas leak started in a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam
  • The leakage has caused at least 6 people to lose their lives and thousands were even rendered unconscious

Thousands of people were rendered unconscious due to a gas leak at a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh overnight. The gas leak happened at the LG Polymar Chemical Plant in the RR Venkataouram which started at around 2:00 AM on Thursday.

The gas spread in the neighbourhood areas and covers an aerial distance of up to 4 kilometres from the plant.

Early morning, Ventak Rao, Sub Inspector, Gopalapatnam said that at least 3 people died from the leak and at least 500 were moved to the hospitals and 3 villages were evacuated. Out of those who were admitted to the hospital, 82 are in K G H Hospital.

Reports say that the people who were exposed to the gas had a burning sensation in the eyes, Sub Inspector Venkat Rao said, “People have passed out after inhaling the gas. Even our (police personnel) eyes are still burning and we feel nauseous,”.

He said that while most of the people are being taken to the King George Hospital there are some who are being moved to private hospitals as per requirements.

Gautam Sawang, Director General of Police (DGP) Andhra Pradesh reported that at least 6 people died due to gas leak out of which 2 were children and 4 adults. 2 of these deaths were accident-related, one man fell into a well while trying to run away and another person fell from the 2nd floor of the house.

He claims that the gas itself is not lethal nor it is poisonous, therefore, people who have been taken to the hospitals will be treated and most of them will be discharged soon.

As per the protocols set by the company, LG Polymers had a gas chamber and a neutraliser chamber right next to it so they immediately tried to neutralise the gas. He does not expect that the casualty count will rise any higher.

An investigation, however, has been started to find out what lead to this disaster, as of now it is being said it was due to maintenance issue.

Srijana Gummalla, Commissioner of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) said, “Primary report is PVC gas (or Styrene) leaked from LG Polymers, Vepagunta near Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam at around 2:30 AM today. Because of the leakage of the said compound gas hundreds of people have inhaled it and either fell unconscious or having breathing issues.”

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A former LG Polymer employee and secretary of Workers’ Union, who is also a resident, said that the possible root cause of the incident could be the lack of maintenance work before resuming the unit operation after the lockdown relaxations.

He said, “The leak is likely to have been caused because of not doing proper maintenance before starting production after a while. In their eagerness to start the plant again, they may not have done that,” and alleged that since the past few days maintenance works at the plant was done by unskilled workers. The former employee and several locals suggested that styrene (a colorless liquid) could be one of the chemicals that may have caused an explosion and the leak.

He also said that people who were sleeping outside managed to escape, however people who were living inside the factory were not so lucky and were left unconscious. They had to be rescued by the police department and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel by breaking on the premises.

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Aishwarya Chopra

A news content writer with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and has over 4 years of experience. Aishwarya is fluent in multiple languages and covers different domains of news for XploringIndia.in. In the past, she has worked as a freelancer and curated multiple articles for various websites.

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