PVC gas (or Styrene) leaks from LG Polymers, near Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam | Srijana Gummala, GVMC Commissioner | Twitter
PVC gas (or Styrene) leaks from LG Polymers, near Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam | Srijana Gummala, GVMC Commissioner | Twitter
Text Size:

New Delhi: At least seven persons have died in a gas leak at the LG Polymers factory on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam Thursday. The factory is located in R.R. Venkatapuram village.  

Preliminary reports from the area revealed that the leaked chemical was styrene, also known as PVC gas. The leak took place at approximately 2.30 am Thursday. 

The LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam | ANI | Twitter
The LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam | ANI | Twitter

Speaking to ThePrint, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Goutam Sawang confirmed that at least seven people died due to the chemical leak.  

“While four died due to the gas leak, two passed away after falling down while trying to escape from the area and one person fell into a well,” he said. 

Sawang further said several people had been taken to a nearby hospital but refused to provide an exact figure.  

The DGP added that the area was sparsely populated and the gas was more of an irritant. The factory was opening Thursday after 40 days due to the Covid-19 lockdown. 

“The unfortunate event took place past midnight when they tried to restart the polymer plant which is pretty old,” Bloomberg quoted P. V. Ramesh, secretary to the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, as having said. The government will issue new safety guidelines for factories being restarted after the lockdown to avoid more such accidents, Ramesh said.

Teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) helped in the evacuations early Thursday morning, Director General S. N. Pradhan said, according to Bloomberg, adding that although the teams were still doing a door-to-door search, the “worst seems to be over”. 

About 400 people have been hospitalised and three are on ventilators, Bloomberg reported, citing  M.Venu Gopal Reddy, additional district magistrate of Visakhapatnam district.

Videos from the area have surfaced showing many people unconscious on the road and footpaths.

 

Probe under way

Bloomberg also reported that LG Chem Ltd, which owns the plant, has started an investigation into the cause of deaths and the scale of damage.

“The gas leakage is now under control, but the leaked gas can cause nausea and dizziness, so we’re doing our best to ensure the right treatment is provided swiftly,” it quoted LG Chem spokesperson Choi Sang-kyu as having said. 

“The plant was shut down due to coronavirus worries when the accident took place. A night time dutier came to learn of gas leakage from a styrene monomer storage tank,” Sang-kyu added. “None of LG Chem’s employees there have died from this accident. A possible link between the gas leak and deaths of people is subject to further investigation.”

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) had earlier urged people to stay at home. It also said that those in colonies and villages near the area could move to safer locations.  

 

“Because of the leakage of the said compound gas hundreds of people have inhaled it and either fell unconscious or having breathing issues,” GVMC Commissioner Srijana Gummalla tweeted.  

Mekapati Goutham Reddy, Minister of Industries, Commerce, IT & Skill Development, took to Twitter to say that the situation was being brought under control and that it might not be an LPG leak.  

“We have instructed concerned authorities to take required measures on a war footing. Villages evacuation is underway. Request citizens not to panic and cooperate with authorities,” he tweeted.

The LG polymers factory produces a type of plastic which is used to make a wide variety of consumer products like toys and appliances.


Also read: ‘No rhyme or reason for 100% reservation’: Why SC quashed 2000 Andhra order for ST teachers


 

 

 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

1 Comment Share Your Views

1 COMMENT

  1. At least 11 persons died and hundreds were hospitalized after a chemical gas leak from a LG Polymers plant in Vishakhapatnam , Andhra Pradesh in pre-dawn hours on 7 May , 2020. There were evacuations of people in nearby villages. The news reports said that the concerned departments of the State Govt and teams of NDRF were quick to respond in dealing with the situation. The situation is said to be under control. This Vedic astrology writer prays for peace to the departed souls while , necessary strength to their near and dear ones to bear the sad parting. Speedy recovery to those injured.
    In this context , it may be apt to refer readers to the precise and pointed predictive alert of this Vedic astrology writer in article – “ Predictions for coming year 2020 by kushal kumar” – published last year 2019 on 10 October at theindiapost.com/articles/predictions-for-coming-year-2020-by-kushal-kumar/. The text of the predictive alert in the said article reads as follows :-
    “ The next three months from April to June in 2020 , appears to be a period of time testing ‘patience’ and ‘perseverance’ , introducing several parts of the country to worrisome concerns. Coastal States of India , particularly those in the southern part , may be called upon take more care and appropriate strategy against likely cyclones , storms ……………….during April-June , in 2020. Such dates of the month of May as 6 , 7 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 25 and 26 may be kept in view………………… Out of these likely vulnerable States , Andhra Pradesh , Telengana , Pondicherry and Panaji-Goa may take particular precautions as appropriate…………………………Further , while dealing with or handling gas , oil-diesel , chemicals , fire-sensitive stuff , more care may be exercised”.
    It may be observed from the aforesaid text that the predictive alert published last year 2019 on 10 October was pinpointed and meaningful.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here