Chemical gas leakage kills 11, leaves hundreds sick in Visakhapatnam

At least eleven people have been killed and over 1,000 fell sick following a leakage of styrene gas at LG Polymer plant at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Thursday.

Nearly 200 people who felt burning sensation in eyes and breathing difficulties were admitted to hospitals. The condition of several people are said to be serious.

Authorities evacuated about 250 families around a 3-km radius of the factory after the gas leakage in the early morning.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams were deployed for rescue operations. A specialised CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) team of the NDRF and medical specialists are being rushed to the spot.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy convened a high-level review meeting to review the situation and ordered a probe into the ‘disturbing’ incident. He announced a compensation of Rs one crore.

The gas leak occurred as the LG Polymers unit, which was shut due to the lockdown, was being readied for the resumption of operations at around 2:30 am.

The gas that leaked in the area is Styrene. The gas affects the central nervous system, skin, eyes, throat, and some other parts of the body. Styrene is not a poisonous gas, but can be fatal only if inhaled in excess quantity.


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