India: Fatal Tragedy Gas Leak at LG Polymers’ Plant Leaves 11 Dead in India
At least 11 people have died and thousands have fallen sick due to a styrene gas leakage from LG Polymers’ chemical plant in Visakhapatnam, the southern state of India. The gas leakage occurred due to the negligence of factory workers amidst the coronavirus lockdown in India.
India – A major gas leak at LG Polymers’ chemical plant in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh has left eleven people dead (including two senior citizens and an eight-year-old girl) and thousands have fallen sick, according to news reports. The incident took place at 3 AM on Thursday morning in RR Venkatapuram village where residents immediately complained of burning sensation in the eyes and breathing difficulties, reports local media. Fire engines, ambulances and the police rushed to the spot to take control of the situation. The leakage of styrene gas in the area caused panic in nearby villages and police officials have started to evacuate them.
Swarupa Rani, Assistant Commissioner of Police in Visakhapatnam in a statement to news agency AFP said that the gas leaked from huge tanks that had been unattended due to the coronavirus lockdown in India since late March. "The gas was left there because of the lockdown. It led to a chemical reaction and heat was produced inside the tanks, and the gas leaked because of that."
In a tweet, Prime Minister of India said, “Spoke to officials of MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) and NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam.”
The plant produces polystyrene and expandable polystyrene. Established in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers, the company was acquired by South Korea's LG Chem and renamed as LG Polymers India in the late 1990’s. The company is currently one of the leading manufacturers of polystyrene in India.