Home >News >India >Vizag gas leak: Death toll rises to 12, NGT slaps 50 crore penalty on LG Polymers, key updates

The death toll in Vizag gas leak tragedy rose to 12 today, the officials added. Over 300 people, including 48 children were admitted to the various hospitals in the city. Meanwhile, 20 of them were in a critical condition.

During the wee hours of Thursday, a toxic gas started leaking from a chemical plant of LG Polymers in the outskirts of Visakhapatnam. The city and the surrounding area were home to nearly six thousand people.

"Hundreds of people have inhaled it and either fell unconscious or having breathing issues," Srijana Gummalla, Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation said on Twitter. Ambulances, fire engines and policemen immediately rushed to the chemical plant and evacuated people from the nearby villages.

Styrene, the gas that leaked impacted thousands of villagers in the surrounding area. Over 60% of the styrene vapour was polymerized so far and all chemical tanks in the plant were safe, District Collector V Vinay Chand said on Friday.

Here are the latest updates of Vizag gas leak tragedy

1) A day after the tragic incident in Vishakapatnam that claimed 11 lives and impacted thousands of people, the National Green Tribunal slapped an interim penalty of 50 crore on LG Polymers for "damaging life, public health and environment." The NGT also sought response from the Centre and others in the gas leak incident saying "there appears to be a failure to comply with the said Rules and other statutory provisions".

2) Styrene, the gas that leaked, is an important commercial chemical, which is used in making make plastics, paints, synthetic rubber, insulation, fibreglass, pipes, automobile parts, food containers and disposal cups. Exposure to styrene, also known as ethenylbenzene, vinylbenzene can affect the central nervous system (CNS), causing headache, fatigue, weakness, and depression.

3) Police have filed a complaint against an LG Chem subsidiary over a toxic gas leak incident. The report, which precedes a full police investigation and potential charges, refers to negligent handling of poisonous substances and causing hurt and endangering public life due to negligence

4) The leak took place when the plant was being reopened after being shut for weeks in the wake of nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic. Poor maintenance of the storage facility during the lockdown may have led to the gas leakage at the Visakhapatnam chemical factory, said the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in its analysis of the gas tragedy.

5) There was no second leakage in Visakhapatnam, NDRF chief S N Pradhan said on Friday. "There are some rumours and media reports about a second leakage. I categorically clarify that it is not true," the NDRF Director General said in a video message.

The experts on ground were working to ensure complete plugging of the breach, Pradhan assured.

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