Chemical gas leaked at a pharmaceutical Company in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam on Thursday.At least eight people,including a child,were killed while more than a thousand others were hospitalised.
Workers of LG Polymers were preparing for the reopening of the plant today when gas started leaking in the early hours.
According to reports,the leakage started at around 2:30 AM,creating a panic among the people of nearby villages and leaving them areas no time to rush for safety.
The incident occurred at RR Venkatapuram village of the area where gas leakage was identified at LG Polymers in Gopalpatnam. People complained of burning sensation in eyes and difficulties in breathing following which,they were taken to the hospital.
It is being said that the maximum impact of the gas leak was in about 1-2 km but the smell was in 2-3 km radius.
RK Meena, CP Visakhapatnam City informed that an FIR has been registered while Andhra Pradesh DGP, Damodar Goutam Sawang, has said that it was an accident and all safety protocols were being followed at the chemical plant that is owned by LG Polymers.
In a statement,the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation Commissioner Srijana has said that primary reports suggest polyvinyl chloride gas or Styrene has leaked from the chemical plant.
Styrene,chemically known as Ethylbenzene,is a synthetic chemical that evaporates easily. Styrene is commonly used in the manufacture of plastic products using in Food Packaging,Rubber,Plastic,Insulation,Fibreglass,Pipes and Automobile Parts.
It is highly flammable and releases a poisonous gas on burning.Also called PVC gas,polystyrene is found in different forms,Styrene or Polystyrene Plastic,Polystyrene Foam, and Polystyrene Film.
Styrene affects the central nervous system,Throat, Skin,Eyes and other parts of the body, NDRF Director General SN Pradhan informed.The effects include severe irritation to eyes and mucous membranes and gastrointestinal effects.
Chronic exposure to gas leads to Headache,Fatigue,Weakness, Depression,CSN Dysfunction,Hearing Loss,and Peripheral Neuropathy.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired about the gas leak incident and directed the district officials to take every possible step to save lives and bring the situation under control.
He met the affected people at King George Hospital in the city. The Chief Minister is closely monitoring the situation.
The state government has said that 200-250 families living in nearby areas of factory have been evacuated.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Rs 1 crore compensation each to the kin of the dead besides offering Rs 20,000 each to the owners who have lost their animals. He also promised jobs to people who are victims of the gas leak and the kin of the family of dead.
The LG Polymers was established in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers for manufacturing polystyrene and its co-polymers in Vizag.
It was merged with MCDowell & Co of the UB Group in 1978 and was taken over by South Korea-based LG Chem in 1997 which renamed it as LG Polymers.
The factory manufactures general purpose polystyrene and high impact polystyrene, expandable polystyrene, and engineering plastics compounds