At least nine have been announced dead, with a further 1,000 taken ill by a gas leak at LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam. Juthy Saha reports.
Nearly 300 taken to hospital after they complained of burning sensation in eyes and breathing difficulties. The death toll may rises. The commissioner of the Visakhapatnam city corporation said “styrene leaked from the Korean-owned LG Polymers plant during the early hours of the morning, when families in the surrounding villages were asleep”.
Swarupa Rani, an assistant commissioner of police in Visakhapatnam, said that at least nine people had died and between 300-400 had been hospitalized. Another 1,500 people had been evacuated, mostly from a neighbouring village.
“Hundreds of people have inhaled it and either fell unconscious or having breathing issues,” Srijana Gummalla, commissioner of the greater Visakhapatnam municipal corporation said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he is ‘closely monitoring’ the situation while adding that he has spoken to officials of MHA and NDMA regarding the situation. PM Modi has also called for a meeting of the NDMA at 11AM to take stock of the situation.
They said that the gas had leaked out of two 5,000-tonne tanks that had been unattended due to India’s coronavirus lockdown in place since late March.
“Areas within an approximately 3km radius of the plant were vulnerable,” the municipal corporation said in a tweet. Images posted on Twitter showed emergency services including police officers, fire tenders and ambulances at the spot.