Eight people, including a child lost their lives today after toxic gas had leaked from LG Polymers facility located near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Over 800 people were admitted to hospital.
The plant was located at R R Venkatapuram village in Gopalapatnam. The surrounding area was the home to thousands of people. The local villagers informed the police in the wee hours of Thursday about burning sensations in their skin and toxic smell. Ambulances, fire engines and policemen immediately rushed to the spot.
"Hundreds of people have inhaled it and either fell unconscious or having breathing issues," Srijana Gummalla, Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation said on Twitter.
Here are the key things that we know so far
1) The primary report suggested that PVC gas or Styrene was leaked from the LG Polymers factory near Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam at around 2:30 am today, said Srijana Gummalla, Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation
Also read: Vizag gas leak LIVE updates: 8 dead, Andhra Pradesh govt orders a probe
2) LG Polymers unit was supposed to reopen post-lockdown on Thursday. The plant was shut since March because of the nationwide lockdown in the country.
3) Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs 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," PM Narendra Modi tweeted.
4) "We are currently assessing the extent of the damage on residents in the town and are taking all necessary measures to protect residents and employees in collaboration with related organizations," LG Chem, the owner of LG Polymers, said in a statement.
5) LG Chem said 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.
7) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the officials to take every possible step to save lives and bring the situation under control.
“The chief minister is closely monitoring the situation and has instructed the district machinery to take immediate steps and provide all help," CMO, Andhra Pradesh tweeted.
8) The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday appealed to people of Visakhapatnam not to panic and cooperate with authorities. In a series of tweets, IT and Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy said a helpdesk has been set up at the department of industries’ general manager’s office in Visakhapatnam.
People can get in touch with Deputy Director S Prasada Rao on his mobile numbers 7997952301 and 891923934, and another officer R Brahma on 9701197069, he said.
9) The Andhra Pradesh government ordered a probe into the incident, the state police chief said here.
10) The surrounding areas within a radius of 3 kms were cleared of people and arrangements made for feeding around 7,500 people who have been asked to vacate their homes.