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While the whole nation is worried about the covid-19 outbreak, another heart-wrenching the news appeared on 7th May. 11 people
lost their lives in a chemical gas leakage at LG Polymers industry in RR
Venkatapuram village of Visakhapatnam. Thousands
of people have been reported sick after the gas leak happened and immediately
they were evacuated. According to the sources, hundreds are admitted to hospitals
for treatment. This incident takes us back to the tragic gas leak of Bhopal. Both tragedies are very similar tragedies. This proves that no
good lessons have been learned from the 1984 Union Carbide disaster.
What do we know about this gas leak?
LG Polymers is claiming that the styrene gas started leaking around 2.30 am from a storage tank. The gas naturally spread through five populated villages in Gopalapatna and killed people and plenty of buffaloes, cattle, dogs, and even birds. For all the wrong reasons, the air was dangerously polluted till approximately 6.30 am. But there was no warning from the factory just repeating the same mistake of Bhopal gas tragedy.
In that very morning around 10:30 am police commissioner R.K. Meena declared that the gas was “non-poisonous.” Police advised the people to drink milk and eat bananas and jaggery “to neutralize the effect of the gas”.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Rs 1 crore for each victim as compensation. People who are undergoing treatment on a ventilator would get Rs 10 lakh per person. Others, who are hospitalized but not on a ventilator, would get Rs 1 lakh each.
Protest against LG Polymers
On 9th May (Saturday) villagers arranged a gathering at the plant’s gate with three bodies of victims as they knew the director-general of police would visit the plant.
It is reported that few of the protesters barged into the compound and police had to intervene. “We want justice!” – Protester used the slogan to demand a permanent closure of the factor.
Expert fears more gas leak risk
Experts were inspecting the aftermath of last week's styrene gas leak. And what they have found is shocking and fearful. They noticed that there were other storage facilities at the factory that were vulnerable to a leak of vapor on a larger scale. Two of the experts assigned by the Centre have certified that styrene was stored in a high-risk present condition at the factory. On Monday, The Andhra Pradesh government has commanded the company to immediately take 13000 metric tonnes of material out of the country.