Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 7 took stock of the situation in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam where a gas leak from a chemical plant has left eight dead, and assured all possible assistance to state Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 7, 2020
The PM has also convened a meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority at 11 am in wake of the situation, the PMO stated. The PM wrote on Twitter that he spoke with Union Home Ministry officials and National Disaster Management Authority regarding the situation “which is being monitored closely.”
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 7, 2020
“I pray for everyone”s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam,” he said. The Prime Minister’s Office said Modi spoke to the state chief minister. “He assured all help and support,” a PMO stated in a tweet. At least six people have died and nearly 100 hospitalised after a gas leak at a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam in the early hours of Thursday.
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.
Initial casualties included a 8-year-old girl. One man is reported to have died when he jumped into a well while another person fell off the balcony of his house as the gas leak at the LG Polymers unit located at RR Venkatapuram near Gopalapatnam spread across the five sleeepy villaged.
Notably, ‘LG Polymers’ is among India’s leading manufacturer of polystyrene and expandable polystyrene. The plant located at Visakhapatnam, belongs to the Mumbai-based LG Polymers India, which is part of the South Korean group LG Chemical.
Unfortunately, A large number of those hospitalised are children. Eyewitnesses stated 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.
Hon’ble CM @ysjagan will leave for Vizag to visit the hospital where the affected are being treated.
The Chief Minister is closely monitoring the situation and has directed the district officials to take every possible step to save lives and bring the situation under control.
— CMO Andhra Pradesh (@AndhraPradeshCM) May 7, 2020
However, CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy will leave for Vizag to visit the hospital where the affected are being treated. The Chief Minister is closely monitoring the situation and has directed the district officials to take every possible step to save lives and bring the situation under control, CMO Andhra Pradesh Added.
Meanwhile, Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi expresses shock over gas leak incident and said, “I’m shocked to hear about the Vizag Gas Leak. I urge our Congress workers & leaders in the area to provide all necessary support & assistance to those affected. My condolences to the families of those who have perished. I pray that those hospitalised make a speedy recovery”.
Despite all of this, In 1961, as Hindustan Polymers for manufacturing polystyrene and its co-polymers, the company was merged with McDowell & Co Ltd of UB Group in 1978. It ultimately became part of the South Korean group LG Chemical, in 1997.
(Author: Trilok Singh is with CEO here).