NFTV: Natioinal Desk: At least 10 people lost their lives and more than 5000 affected, Hundreds were reported sick after the incident. According to reports, the gas leak has affected nearly 20 nearby villages. After the poisonous gas leaked from the LG Polymers industry in RR Venkatapuram village of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Poisonous styrene gas leaked from the plant during the wee hours of the morning when families in the surrounding villages were asleep.
According to Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation officials, the tragedy took place when the chemical unit, closed due to the lockdown, was being restarted on Thursday morning. The gas stored in tanks began leaking and spread in a radius of 3 km. Officials have zeroed in on two gases, styrene, and pentine, as the likely causes for the accident. Early morning sights included people lying unconscious on the streets and dead cattle by the roadside. People, with children strung over their shoulders, ran in panic towards hospitals. Ambulances rushed to the area and transported 70 unconscious people to the King George hospital.
Eyewitnesses said that the incident took place around 2.30 a.m. when people were fast asleep in their homes. All of a sudden people in surrounding areas woke up with a sense of breathlessness, terrible itching, and burning sensation in their eyes.
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was pressed into service to evacuate people from the nearby colonies. Fire tenders from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd were trying to reduce the impact of the gas using water. 80 to 90 percent evacuation is completed
The impact of the tragedy was reduced to some extent as the plant operatives immediately alerted the authorities following which the district administration swung into action, an official said. The surrounding areas within a radius of 3 km have been cleared of people and arrangements made for feeding around 7,500 people who have been asked to vacate their homes.