New Delhi: Hours after the tragic gas leak from a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam killed at least 11 people and affected about 1,000 others, the United Nations (UN) on Thursday said the matter needs to be fully investigated by local authorities. Also Read - Vizag Gas Leak: What Led to The Tragic Incident? Here's What Officials Say
“We obviously send our condolences to the victims and hope for a quick recovery to those who have been impacted. And I think these kinds of incidents need to be fully investigated by the local authorities,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at the daily press briefing. Also Read - Vizag Gas Leak: Arjun Kapoor, SS Rajamouli, Bhumi Pednekar And Other Stars Extend Condolences to Families Affected
The statement from the UN comes hours after a toxic gas leaked from a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam on Thursday and quickly spread to villages in a five-kilometre radius, killing at least 11 people and impacting about 1,000 with many collapsing on the roadside. Also Read - Vizag Gas Leak: Death Toll Reaches 11, Around 1000 Sick; Andhra CM Announces Rs 1 Crore Ex-gratia to Families of Deceased
In videos that were shared on social media, scores of people were seen lying unconscious on sidewalks, near ditches and on the road, raising fears of a major industrial disaster.
Reacting to the situation, an environment ministry official said that the licence of the chemical plant may get revoked if it is found flouting environmental norms. He said that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is looking into the matter and will soon come out with a report.
On the other hand, the National Green Tribunal took cognisance on its own about the gas leak incident and said it will take up the matter on Friday. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel will take up on Friday the matter titled ‘Gas Leak at LG Polymers Chemical Plant in RR Venkatapuram Village Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh’.
In the meantime, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister DV Sadananda Gowda has urged all public and private chemical makers to exercise caution and care while reopening their plants.
Moreover, the Union Environment Ministry and State Pollution Control Boards have also issued separate directives to all companies to take extreme precaution while restarting their units that remained suspended due to the lockdown.
The local police, meanwhile, have registered a criminal case against plant management. In a related development, the Andhra Pradesh High Court also took cognizance of the styrene gas leak and issued notices to the state and the Central government.