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Vizag gas leak kills 11, including one child; 1,000 hospitalised

A gas leak from a chemical plant of LG Polymers India Pvt Limited (LGPI), an arm of South Korea’s LG Chem, killed 11 people, including a child, in Vizag

  • The police said that the neuro-toxic chemical leaked out from LGPI’s plant, located in RR Venkatapuram, at around 3 am

  • Around 1,000 people have been hospitalised at King George Hospital and other private hospitals in the city

New Delhi: A gas leak from a chemical plant of LG Polymers India Pvt Limited (LGPI), an arm of South Korea’s LG Chem, killed 11 people, including a child, in Vizag on the intervening night between Thursday and Friday. The police said that the neuro-toxic chemical leaked out from LGPI’s plant, located in RR Venkatapuram, at around 3 am and spread through the village over the next two hours. Four villages were evacuated as the styrene vapour spread over a radius of 5 Km. 

Around 1,000 people have been hospitalised at King George Hospital and other private hospitals in the city.

Vizag gas leak images on Twitter looked like a nightmare

The images that surfaced on Twitter showed what the nightmare looked like. Many became unconscious in their sleep as the gas leak happened well after midnight. Those who were conscious and tried to reach hospitals collapsed on streets while en-route. Images on Twitter also showed livestock collapsed on the ground with foam coming out of their mouths because of the gas leak in Vizag. Rescue teams later conducted a house-to-house search to provide relief. COVID-19 ambulances and medical teams came in handy in the emergency.

What did the South Korean MNC say?

The South Korean MNC attributed the mishap to the non-functioning of the plant during the lockdown. Terming the incident “unfortunate,” Mohan Rao, General Manager, LGPI, told the media: “The lockdown has become a curse for our industry. As the system was not running for the last 40 days, the chemical was stored in it, which otherwise would have gone to the reactor.”

While the tank had a capacity of 2,400 tonnes, there was 1,800 tonnes in it at the time of the mishap. None of the employees has been affected, he added.

Probe ordered

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who rushed to Vizag from Amaravati, has ordered a probe into the incident by a panel headed by the State Chief Secretary. He has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore each to the families of the deceased, besides a compensation package to the affected people.