Experts urged to ratify Minamata Convention to phase out mercury-added products পারদযুক্ত পণ্যের ব্যবহার বন্ধে মিনামাতা কনভেনশন অনুমোদনের আহ্বান সেন্টমার্টিন সৈকতে প্লাস্টিকের আগ্রাসন 72 birds die eating pesticide-treated masakalai Educate girls to save the planet শিশুর সর্দি-কাশি সারানোর ঘরোয়া উপায় 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12 24 thousand under 5 children die of pneumonia in Bangladesh annually গ্রিনহাউস গ্যাস কমানোর লক্ষ্যে নানা উদ্যোগ Maldives: Eco-friendly product export destination for Bangladesh

India gas leak: At least 11 dead after Visakhapatnam incident


Dhaka, 9, May, 2020: At least 11 people have been killed by a massive gas leak at a chemical plant in southern India, with 800 others taken to hospital.

The leak from the LG Polymers plant in the city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh state came as people slept.

Doctors say patients have been complaining of a burning sensation in the eyes and difficulties breathing.

Areas around the plant have been evacuated. The leak may have been due to negligence, officials say.

Reports suggest initial attempts to control the gas leak were unsuccessful but the company and state officials say the situation is now under control.

LG said in a statement it was investigating the cause of the incident, and was looking at ways "to provide speedy treatment" for those affected.

Rajendra Reddy, a senior official in the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board, told the BBC that the leaked gas was styrene, which is usually refrigerated.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called an emergency disaster meeting.

'My eyes were itchy'

The leak took place at around 03:00 local time (21:30 GMT Wednesday) as the plant was being re-opened for the first time since 24 March, when India went into lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"All those who have been hospitalised are currently stable," BK Naik, a local health official, told Reuters news agency. Doctors say 86 patients are being treated on ventilators, but many injured have been discharged.

Legal action is being taken against the company, says state Industries Minister Goutam Reddy. Earlier, he told BBC Telugu that it looked as though proper procedures and guidelines were not followed when the South Korean-owned plant was being re-opened.

"We would like the company to proactively respond to the incident and ensure that the same level of responsibility is taken if this incident were to happen in EU or United States," he said, adding that the incident had been reported to the Korean embassy.

Rescuers evacuate people following a gas leak incident at an LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020. incident at an LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

 

 


Image captionHundreds have taken ill after the gas leak at a polymer factory

 

Swaroop Rani, a senior police official in Visakhapatnam, told AFP that the plant had been left idle because of the lockdown.

"[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."

Local villagers complained around 03:30 and police immediately went to the scene, but had to quickly retreat for fear of being poisoned, the news agency quoted her as saying.

"One could feel the gas in the air and it was not possible for any of us to stay there for more than a few minutes," she said.

A map showing the location of the factory

As the gas spread, residents ran out of their homes in panic. Distressing images of people fainting and dropping unconscious on the streets are being shared on social media.

"My eyes were itchy, and I was feeling drowsy, light-headed and slightly breathless," Yashwanth Saikumar Ambati, who lives about 300 metres from the plant, told Reuters.

Officials said the fumes had spread over a radius of about 3km (2 miles) and people from surrounding areas were evacuated.

Although a large number have been admitted to hospital, most should be able to make a recovery, they added.


Pungent smell and burning eyes

Vijay Shankar, BBC News Telugu

A loud banging on the front door woke me up at 03:30. My wife and I rushed to the door, and found our neighbours outside, looking agitated.

"There has been an explosion at Polymers! Leave immediately," they told us.

I could see people running on the road outside. I spotted my landlord, who also asked me to leave the house as soon as I could. Just then, I began to smell something pungent in the air. We quickly understood what had happened. The smell became stronger and my eyes began to burn.

My wife, son and I left the house on my motorbike. As we drove down the street, we saw hundreds of people were fleeing their homes. We kept going until we reached Kailasagiri beach, about 20km away.

We only stopped when we couldn't smell the gas any more.


Earlier in the day, district health official Dr Naik said many people were feared to be unconscious in their homes.

"There are people who were sleeping," AFP quoted him as saying. "We are working to get people to the hospital. They need oxygenation and fresh air.

"We are trying to understand the long-term impact of the chemical on those who have inhaled it during the leak."

Smokes rise from an LG Polymers plant following a gas leak incident in Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020. -Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

 

 


Image captionOfficials said the leaked gas was styrene, which is usually refrigerated

 

In the meantime, officials have asked people to protect themselves by covering their faces with a wet cloth. The Indian navy has been helping supply oxygen to patients.

India has a tragic history of gas leaks.

In 1984, a toxic chemical leak in a pesticide plant in the central city of Bhopal killed thousands of people, in what is acknowledged to be the world's worst industrial disaster.

More than 35 years later, victims say children are still being born with disabilities because of the effects of the methyl isocyanate gas spill.

Read More

.

Posted by on May 9 2020. Filed under News at Now, News Worldwide, No Toxic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Polls

Which Country is most Beautifull?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...