Vizag Gas Leak updates: At least 12 people are reported to have died due to a leakage of styrene gas at LG Polymers Vizag plant in the early hours of Thursday. According to reports over 1,000 people reported sick after the gas spread in five villages within a three-km radius of the plant. Many people were rushed to hospitals for treatment after complaining of breathing difficulties and burning sensation in their eyes.
Where did exactly Vizag gas leak took place
The gas leak took place at the LG Polymer plant at Gopalapatnam that is situated on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam. Workers were preparing for the reopening of the plant on Thursday when gas started leaking in the early hours. An FIR has been lodged against LG Polymers and an inquiry has been ordered.
Brief history about LG Polymers
The LG Polymers was established in 1961 for manufacturing polystyrene and its co-polymers in Vizag. It was merged with McDowell &Co in 1978 and was taken over by South Korea-based LG Chem in 1997. The factory manufactures general-purpose polystyrene and high impact polystyrene, and engineering plastics compounds.
Reason behind the Vizag gas leak
The leak is suspected to have been from large tanks that were left unattended because of the nationwide lockdown to fight COVID-19. As per news reports the initial information is that workers were checking a gas storage tank when it started leaking. Only a thorough investigation will reveal what exactly happened. Officials said that the early morning air was thick with pungent-smelling gas in a five km radius.
People within a 3-km radius of the plant have been affected. As a precautionary measure, the authorities have started evacuating five villages in the nearby area. People found unconscious in lanes and near houses were brought to the King George Hospital in the city. Children and the elder people were most affected.
The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) on Thursday demanded an inquiry into the Vizag gas leak and serious action against the LG polymers. The union also demanded compensation for victims of the accident.
Government take on the Vizag gas leak
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “closely monitoring” the situation in Visakhapatnam and had spoken to officials in the Home Ministry and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). PM Modi also held a meeting of the NDMA to take stock of the situation.