Here is Deadly Vizag Gas Leakage News Update from LG Polymers Plant in Visakhapatnam where styrene gas leaked on May 7 claimed 13 and evacuated 1500 people. Read full news about Vizag Gas Leak News Update

Highlight

  • South Korean company LG Chemical took over Hindustan Polymers in 1997
  • Leakage at LG Polymers Visakhapatnam at 2.30 AM on Thursday
  • Claimed 13 lives and hundreds hospitalized in unconscious stage
  • Possible cause polymerization leading vaporization due to lockdown
  • NDRF played an important role in the rescue operation
  • NDRF Team comprising chemical, biological, and nuclear disaster specialists at the site
  • PM, HM, CM keeping a close eye on incident
  • Police case against LG Polymers under sections 278, 284, 285, 337, 338 and 304 (II) of IPC

Was it horrible in Visakhapatnam on Thursday?

At midnight at 2.30 AM on May 7, the leak started at the LG Polymers Plant. Like Bhopal tragedy in 1984, the gas leak in Visakhapatnam claimed 13 lives and several hundred fell unconscious in surrounding villages and few came on the roads. Some people died due to prolonged exposure to gas, and some others during efforts of escaping from the site.

The exposure of people with the leaked gas was so intense that they were feeling great difficulty in breathing and were running and falling due to discomfort of headache, fatigue, weakness, and unconscious. The police, fire service, and district administration and rescue officers extended all support to take such people to the hospital to revive them.

Heart-rending scenes in Vizag

DC Vinay Chand was personally supervising the situation and informed that during emergency ambulances, government vehicles police vehicles and SRTC buses were deployed for the evacuation process. Medical superintendent of one hospital said the central nervous system got affected due to prolong exposure with leaked gas leading to less supply of oxygen to the brain causing breathlessness, nausea, and vomiting sensation. Several children and people were rushed to the hospital.

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The scenario became the worst due to the timing of the incident. A lot of important time lost in organizing the resources to follow the safety precautions. The people were sleeping unaware of the incident. The authorities took fast steps and made an announcement over loudspeakers to make people aware. Many people were unconscious and police had to break their doors to shift them to the hospital.

Background of LG Polymers

This plant was installed in 1961 in the name of Hindustan Polymers. The company was then merged with Mc Dowell & Co. under the ownership of UB Group in 1978. A South Korean company LG Chemical who was keen on entering into Indian market took over 100% of Hindustan Polymers and changed its name as LG Polymers in 1997.

What does LG Polymers manufacture?

The company manufactures polystyrene, a flammable liquid, used as a basic raw material in plastic resin and synthetic fiber for making toys and appliances. Styrene is present in natural form in fruits and vegetables and in traces in vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke. Where is the plant located? The LG Chem plant is located at RR Venkatapuram village near Gopalapatnam. It is 15 km far from the coast city Visakhapatnam in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

General Manager of LG Polymers told there are two tanks for storing styrene monomer. Styrene monomer is a raw material for manufacturing polystyrene. One tank of capacity 2400 MT was filled with 1800 MT styrene monomer. Since the plant was shut for 40 days a long time due to lockdown and kept stored. There is a possibility of polymerization leading to vaporization.

Vizag Gas Leak News Update: District Collector V. Vinay Chand, based upon the preliminary finding, cited temperature control problem upon starting operation of the plant, due to which, it appears that styrene monomer, which is stored at minus 20 degree Celsius in liquid form, vaporized and burst out of the safety valves, and spread across 1.5 to 3 km radius, affecting the population.

Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories KBS Prasad suggested that the gas leak might have occurred due to self-polymerization due to bottom and surface temperatures difference inside the tank for a long time.

Reports of a second gas leak are “false”: AP Police

Andhra Pradesh Police dismissed the reports on a second gas leak in Vizag on Thursday afternoon through its Twitter handle. They further clarified that the maintenance team was doing some repair work and that let some vapour out. But, that was not a leak.

NDRF played prompt role

The NDRF local unit reached the site of incident dressed in protective suits and with oxygen cylinders. The company along with the district support system carried out a sprinkling of water in affected areas inside and outside to neutralize the gas effect. NDRF teams started searching stranded people in five affected villages by opening the houses. NDRF evacuated over 1500 unconscious persons.

NDRF Specialists at the site from Pune

A team comprising chemical, biological, and nuclear disaster specialists from NDRF 5 Battalion Pune has been sent to the plant site to study the situation and advise the authorities.

Covid-19 preparedness helped control Vizag gas leak situation

The authority claims that Covid-19 preparedness has helped them to access ambulances readily available with oxygen cylinders and ventilators.

Police registered a case against LG Polymers

Based on the report of Village Revenue Officer of RR Venkatapuram M.V. Subba Rao a case was registered in Gopalapatnam police station under various provisions of IPC. Police registered cases against LG Polymers management under Indian Panel Code sections 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health), 284 (Negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), 285 (Negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others and 304 (II).