Reportedly, 11 people including an infant were killed and over 5000 are sick after the unfortunate gas leak at a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The toxic styrene gas or the PVC gas leaked from the LG Polymers plant in Vizag at around 02:30 am last night.
The chemical plant had been shut ever since the country-wide lockdown due to novel coronavirus. In the relaxations provided in the 3rd phase of lockdown, the plant was reportedly restarted without any precautions and system checks which led to a malfunction in the valve controls of the tanks containing the gas, causing the leak.
Five nearby villages in the radius of three kilometres have been safely evacuated. Videos of people fainting and lying around on the roads unconsciously went viral soon after the leak, on social media. The videos are horrifying as the thousands are being rushed to the nearest hospitals for the aid. The people complained about having breathing problems, itching and burning sensation in their eyes, severe headache and even vomiting in some cases.
VIDEO CREDITS: INDIA TODAY
The senior officials involved in the monitoring the situation stated that the gas has been neutralized, however, the maximum impact is yet to be reviewed. The footages immediately remind everyone of the tragic Bhopal Gas Tragedy that took thousands of lives.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took it to Twitter and said that he is in talks with the Master in Health Administration and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) regarding the situation which is closely being monitored at the moment. He further stated that he prays for everyone’s well-being and safety.
Spoke to officials of MHA and NDMA regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely.
I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 7, 2020
The LG Polymers plant is used into the operation of making versatile plastic polystyrene which is further used in rubber, fibreglass and latex. Initially owned by Hindustan Polymers, the plant later in 1997 was taken over by LG Chemicals, a company based out of South Korea.