New Delhi: In a major mishap that cost multiple fatalities, a toxic gas leaked overnight on Thursday from LG Polymers plant located near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. At least 10 people have died, including a child, while over a thousand others fell sick and are being taken to hospital after complaints of a burning sensation and breathing difficulties. Scores of cattle were also affected. Also Read - Andhra Pradesh News: Relief For Tirupati Devotees | Auction Stalled, 2.4 Lakh Laddus Sold in a Day
Disturbing videos of people vomiting, lying down in the streets motionless were seen on social media platforms. Also Read - Elderly Andhra Woman Arrested For Questioning Govt Over Vizag Gas Leak, Twitter Says 'Democracy At Stake'
Taking stock of the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a meeting with Home Ministry as well as the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) and said the situation was being closely monitored. ” I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam,” PM Modi said. Also Read - Vizag Cop Drags-Beats Half-Naked Doctor Who Complained About Lack of PPE Kits, Police Calls Latter 'Mentally Unwell'
Here’s what we know so far:
1. What is believed to be styrene gas, it leaked overnight from two 5,000-tonne tanks in the LG Polymers facility in Venkatapuram village, near Vizag, Andhra Pradesh.
2. The plant was unattended for the last 40 days due to the lockdown placed since March and the leak was identified only after some people woke up from their sleep to report difficulty in breathing and a burning sensation in their eyes. According to reports, it was planning to open today.
3. Styrene gas is commonly used to manufacture plastic. Prolonged exposure to it can cause extreme breathing difficulties and could also affect the nerves. It can prove lethal if consumed high dosage in close-proximity.
4. Visakhapatnam City Commissioner of Police RK Meena told ANI that the gas had leaked to about 3 km radius and has been “neutralised”. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has shifted around 800 people to nearby hospitals. Rescue operations are still underway.
5. Municipal authorities fear that the death toll may rise as over a thousand people have consumed the toxic gas. Eyewitnesses even claimed that tree leaves changed colour due to the intensity of the leakage.
6. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke with the PM and has directed the district collector and the police commissioner to take every possible step to bring the situation under control. President Ram Nath Kovind, along with several other politicians expressed their grief over the incident.
7. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke with the PM and has directed the district collector and the police commissioner to take every possible step to bring the situation under control. President Ram Nath Kovind, along with several other politicians expressed their grief over the incident.
8. Andhra Governor expressed shock over the mishap and ordered officials to take up rescue operations on war footage. He ordered Visakhapatnam Red Cross unit to constitute medical camps and urged rescue operators to avail services of red cross volunteers in evacuation.
9. Government said strict action will be taken against the company for the harazdous incident. Investigation is underway.