11 min read.Updated: 08 May 2020, 12:07 AM IST Written By Anulekha Ray
At least eleven people including a child died after toxic gas had leaked from LG Polymers facility located near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh
Indian Navy teams with about 50 breathing sets and associated portable air compressor rushed to help villagers
At least eleven people including a child died after toxic gas had leaked from LG Polymers facility located near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, the state government reported. At least 246 people with health complications are undergoing treatment at Visakhapatnam’s King George Hospital, police said. Ambulances, fire engines and policemen rushed to the chemical plant. Thousands of people were evacuated from the nearby villages, officials told.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy announced an ex-gratia payment of ₹1 crore each to the kin of those killed in the styrene gas leak incident.
Urging the residents to stay indoors, 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."
The plant operated by LG Polymers was located in the outskirts of Visakhapatnam. The city and the surrounding area were home to around five million people. The plant was shut since late March due to coronavirus lockdown.
The local villagers informed the officials around 3.30 am today about the presence of gas in the air. "Hundreds of people have inhaled it and either fell unconscious or having breathing issues," Srijana Gummalla, Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation said on Twitter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with officials of Ministry of Home Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Thursday in the wake of a gas leak incident in Andhra Pradesh.
Here are the live updates on the chemical plant leak near Visakhapatnam
PM Narendra Modi chairs high-level meeting to take stock of Vizag gas leak
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the steps being taken in response to the Visakhapatnam gas leak incident in which 11 people have been killed.
He discussed at length the measures being taken for the safety of the affected people as well as for securing the site affected by the disaster.
The meeting was attended by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Ministers of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai and G. Kishan Reddy, besides other senior officers.
NHRC notice to Andhra Pradesh govt, Centre over gas leak incident in Vizag
The human rights body in a statement said that it has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the death of eight persons and over five thousand others falling sick due to leakage of styrene gas in Vizag District of the State of Andhra Pradesh early morning today.
Andhra Pradesh govt forms a high-level committee to probe into the mishap
Reddy further announced constitution of a high-level committee, headed by the Special Chief Secretary (Environment and Forests), to probe into the mishap and make recommendations to prevent such tragedies in the future.
Andhra Pradesh govt announces relief packages for victims
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy also announced ₹10 lakh each to those undergoing treatment on ventilator support and ₹25,000 to those who took treatment as out-patients after developing health complications due to inhalation of the styrene vapour.
Jaganmohan Reddy orders a probe
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy has ordered a probe into the matter, state Director General of Police D Gautam Sawang said.
"How the gas leaked and why the neutraliser at the plant did not prove effective in containing the leak will all be investigated. Styrene, though, is not a poisonous gas and can be fatal only if inhaled in excess quantity," Sawang said.
₹1 crore relief to kin of people killed in Vizag gas leak
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday announced an ex- gratia payment of ₹one crore each to the kin of those killed in the styrene gas leak incident at LG Polymers Limited near here.
The death toll rises to 11
The death toll rose to 11 in the gas leak mishap in Visakhapatnam, said SN Pradhan, Director General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Thursday.
NHRC notice to Andhra Pradesh govt, Centre
The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to Andhra Pradesh government and the Centre over the gas leak incident in Vizag on Thursday.
The human rights body in a statement said that it has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the death of eight persons and over five thousand others falling sick due to leakage of styrene gas in Vizag.
Indian Navy rush in to help Vizag gas leak victims
Indian Navy teams with about 50 breathing sets and associated portable air compressor rushed to help villagers affected by the gas leak near the LG Polymers Industry in Vizag.
The Indian Navy has provided five Portable Multifeed Oxygen Manifolds sets to the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to help the medical administration in tendering the villagers affected due to gas leak.
The force said, "Naval teams with breathing sets and two ambulances are assisting the State Disaster Response team at the villages affected by gas leak near LG Polymers".
How dangerous is the gas that leaked from the factory?
Exposure to styrene, also known as ethenylbenzene, vinylbenzene can affect the central nervous system (CNS), causing headache, fatigue, weakness, and depression.
Leaked gas can cause these damages
Acute (short-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in mucous membrane and eye irritation, and gastrointestinal effects, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Death toll rises to at least nine
According to a report by ANI, an official confirmed that the death toll in Vizag gas leak rose to nine on Thursday afternoon with close to 300 people being hospitalised due to styrene monomer vapours.
LG Chem claims the leak is now under control
LG Chem, which operates the plant, claims in a statement that the leak has been brought under control.
According to a report by PTI, LG Chem said, "The gas leakage is now under control, but the leaked gas can cause nausea and dizziness, so we are investing every effort to ensure proper treatment is provided swiftly."
Chandrababu Naidu requests for medical experts
TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu has written to Union Minister Piyush Goyal requesting for medical experts in order to treat people affected by Styrene gas leak in Visakhapatnam.
The letter was copied to Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health & Family Welfare as well as Member Secretary, NDMA, Government of India for information and necessary action. The Chief Secretary of AP Government was asked to take immediate action.
Karnataka Chief Minister expressed sadness over the incident
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday expressed sadness over the gas leak incident at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and said his thoughts and prayers are with the families affected . He offered condolences to the affected families.
"Extremely saddened by the incident in Visakhapatnam. My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected. @AndhraPradeshCM," Yediyurappa tweeted.
Spread of poisonous vapours depends on wind speed, officials say
The spread of styrene monomer vapours in the air depends on the wind speed and currently personnel are working to neutralise the air with chemicals such as 4-tert-Butylcatechol (TBC), a senior official of the Department of Factories said on Thursday.
YS Jaganmohan Reddy leaves for Vizag
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy leaves for Vizag to take stock of the situation. He will visit the hospital where the affected are being treated.
Andhra Pradesh government orders a probe into gas leak incident
The Andhra Pradesh government ordered a probe into the incident, the state police chief said here.
Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy held a high-level review meeting to take stock of the situation and ordered a probe into the matter, state DGP D Gautam Sawang said.
Don't panic, assures Andhra Pradesh govt
The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday appealed to people of Visakhapatnam not to panic and cooperate with authorities working to bring under control the situation following a gas leak from a chemical plant there.
Around 1000-1500 people were evacuated: NDRF
Director-General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) SN Pradhan said, "The incident was reported by locals around 2:30 in the morning, it was because of throat irritation and skin irritation and toxic smell. They informed the local administration. The administration officials and fire tenders reached the location. The NDRF unit of Visakhapatnam was informed at 5 am in the morning; they reached the site in half an hour and started rescue operations."
Gas emitted in the leak can cause nausea and dizziness
LG Chem said in a statement that the gas emitted in the leak can cause nausea and dizziness when inhaled. It said it was seeking to ensure casualties received treatment quickly.
LG Polymers unit was supposed to reopen post-lockdown on Thursday
State Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy said the LG Polymers unit was supposed to reopen post-lockdown on Thursday.
"We are trying to reach out to the top management of the (South Korean) company...our immediate priority is to arrest the leak and ensure proper medicare to the affected people," he said.
Gas leaked in the wee hours of Thursday
Sources said the vapour leak occurred in the early hours of Thursday when some workers of the plant were making preparations for the re-opening of the unit following easing of the ongoing lockdown restrictions.
Help desk is set up: Where to contact
In an ongoing effort to assist the rescue operations in gas leak incident in Vizag, a helpdesk is being set up at Dept of Industries GM office in Vizag.
Five villages in the outskirts of Visakhapatnam were affected by the gas leak in the LG Polymers unit. One man is reported to have died when he jumped into a well while another person fell off the balcony of his house as the gas leak at the LG Polymers unit located at RR Venkatapuram.
Take every possible step to save lives: Andhra Pradesh CM
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is closely monitoring the situation and has directed the district officials to take every possible step to save lives and bring the situation under control.
Telangana CM expresses shock over gas leak incident
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday expressed shock over the gas leak incident at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and offered condolences to the families of the deceased.
PM Modi spoke to Andhra Pradesh CM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in the aftermath of the Visakhapatnam gas leakage mishap and assured all help and support to the state.
"PM @narendramodi has spoken to Andhra Pradesh CM Shri @ysjagan regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam. He assured all help and support," Prime Minister's Office tweeted.
More than 800 people were hospitalised
About 1000-1500 people have been evacuated. More than 800 people have been taken to hospital, SN Pradhan, DG, NDRF
At least nine people died: Official
Swarupa Rani, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in Visakhapatnam told Reuters that at least nine people had died and between 300-400 hospitalised. Another 1,500 people had been evacuated, mostly from a neighbouring village.
Styrene releases a poisonous gas when burnt
The LG Polymers plant makes polystyrene products, according to a company website, which are used in manufacturing electric fan blades, cups and cutlery and containers for cosmetic products such as make up. The raw material, styrene, is highly flammable and releases a poisonous gas when burnt.
Areas within an approximately 3-kilometer (nearly 2-mile) radius of the plant were vulnerable, the municipal corporation said in a tweet.
Use wet cloth to cover nose or mouth
Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation ask citizens to use wet masks or wet cloth to cover nose and mouth. PVC gas (or Styrene) leaked from LG Polymers, Vepagunta near Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam today. Eight people died after the leakage. Hundreds were admitted to the hospital.
Authorities blowing water to subside the effect of gas leak
GVMC officials blowing water through mist blowers to subside the effect of Syrene Gas leak at Gopalapatnam area of Visakhapatnam.
GVMC officials blowing water through mist blowers to subside the effect of Syrene Gas leak at Gopalapatnam area of Visakhapatnam. pic.twitter.com/jBuHMYR4zF
— Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) (@GVMC_OFFICIAL) May 7, 2020
PVC gas leaked from LG Polymers
Primary report is PVC gas (or Styrene) leaked from LG Polymers, Vepagunta near Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam at around 2:30 AM today, said Srijana Gummalla, Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation.
Hundreds of people fell sick after the gas leakage
"Hundreds of people have inhaled it and either fell unconscious or having breathing issues," Srijana Gummalla, Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation said on Twitter.
At least 1,000 people were reported hospitalised
B K Naik, district hospitals coordinator, told AFP that at least 1,000 people had been sent to different hospitals, and that it was feared many others may be unconscious in their homes.
Evacuation underway: NDRF
A team of 27 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnels is involved in the rescue operation. Evacuation is underway, says DG, NDRF
PM Modi calls emergency meet
Prime Minister also called for a meeting with NDMA officials. "In the wake of the situation in Visakhapatnam, PM Narendra Nodi has called for a meeting of the NDMA at 11 AM," tweeted the Prime Minister's Office.
Closely monitoring the situation in Visakhapatnam: Amit Shah
The incident in Visakhapatnam is disturbing. Have spoken to the NDMA officials and concerned authorities. We are continuously and closely monitoring the situation. I pray for the well-being of the people of Visakhapatnam: Union Home Minister Amit Shah
PM Modi speaks to officials over Vizag gas leak
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) regarding the Vizag gas leakage incident.
"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," Modi's tweet read.
Gas started leaking today morning
The gas had leaked out of two 5,000-tonne tanks that had been unattended due to coronavirus lockdown in place since late March.
Seven died in gas leak in Visakhapatnam
Seven people died after toxic gas started leaking from a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam today. The evacuation operation is still underway, said DG Sawang, DGP, Andhra Pradesh
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