Vizag: Gas leakage kills eight; PM Modi calls urgent meeting
In a terrible piece of news, a gas leakage at a chemical plant in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh, took eight lives and made hundreds sick. The incident happened around 3 am on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi prayed for everyone's safety and said he was monitoring the situation. In the wake of the disaster, he also called a meeting of NDMA at 11 am today.
The incident happened at the LG Polymers industry in the district's RR Venkatapuram village. About the incident, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation tweeted, "There is gas leakage identified at LG Polymers in Gopalpatnam. Requesting Citizens around these locations not to come out of houses for the sake of safety precautions." Fire engines, ambulances, and police vehicles reached the spot soon after the leakage.
In one of the horrifying visuals from the spot, several people were seen lying on a dilapidated road. In another one, people were seen trying to shift the ill to the hospital. One image showed froth coming out from a cow's mouth. Another mobile video showed a woman collapsing on the pavement as she stood by a scooter. Some said trees also changed color.
RK Meena, CP Visakhapatnam City said the gas was neutralized and 100-120 people were shifted to hospital. He added, "There was a styrene gas leak. We have evacuated the village. Now we are conducting a door-to-door search." Though the maximum impact of the leak was till 1-1.5 kilometer, the smell reached a spot 2.5 kilometer away from the plant, Meena informed.
Earlier, the district collector V Vinay Chand reached the spot and said the situation was being monitored. He claimed the situation will be brought in control within two hours. Those facing breathing problems are being provided with ventilators, he added. NDRF and SDRF were deployed for the rescue operation. Chief Minister Jagan Reddy is scheduled to visit the area later today.
The plant was established in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers. In 1997, South Korea's LG Chem took over the company and renamed it as LG Polymers India. The plant makes polystyrene and expandable polystyrene, a plastic variant used for products like toys and appliances.
G Kishan Reddy, MoS Home Affairs, offered condolences to the bereaved families. "Instructed NDRF teams to provide necessary relief measures. Continuously monitoring the situation. Hundreds of people affected an unprecedented and unfortunate event. Spoke to Home Secretary, Government of India, and requested him to provide the required aid, (sic)" Reddy said. He also spoke to Chief Secretary and DGP of Andhra Pradesh.
Spoke to officials of MHA and NDMA regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 7, 2020
I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam.