NAGULAPALLI GRISHMA, 10, was excited about her birthday on June 3. She convinced her father to get her new clothes despite the lockdown. Grishma is no more.
In the early hours of May 7, when styrene gas leaked from the L G Polymers factory in Visakhapatnam, Grishma was asleep on the terrace of their house in R R Venkatapuram village, about 1 km from the factory. As the gas spread, people started running. Grishma collapsed outside her house. Her uncle N Mani rushed her to a primary health centre at Pendurthi, about 7 km away, but she died on the way.
“She was a bright and lively kid. She could not wait to celebrate her birthday. She pestered me to learn to make a cake. Her father got her a new frock which she tried on several times. I still cannot believe she is no more,’’ said Grishma’s mother N Latha, who is recuperating at King George Hospital. Her husband N Ganesh works as a helper at the state road transport corporation garage at Visakhapatnam. The couple, who also have a son, have lived in R R Venkatapuram for 15 years, but are now considering moving.
The 11 residents of R R Venkatapuram, killed in the incident, comprised three young students and several daily-wagers.
First-year MBBS student Annepu Chandra Mouli, 19, was studying when the leak took place. He woke up his father A Eswara Rao, a traffic constable, his mother and younger brother. As they started fleeing, all of them collapsed outside their house. “He excelled in studies. He wanted to be a doctor and was studying hard to fulfill his dream,’’ said Rao.
A helper in the loading section of L G Polymers, Sivakoti Govindraju, 35, was home at the time of the leak and died in his sleep. His father S Satyanarayana had retired from the factory a few years ago after which Govindraju joined. “I was sleeping outside. I don’t remember what happened. I woke up in the hospital. For hours, no one told me anything and I thought my son was safe. The factory which gave us livelihood took away his life,’’ Satyanarayana said.
Six-year-old Gandiboyena Kundana Sreya is the youngest of the victims. Sreya, her father G Srinivas and mother Shobha were found unconscious outside their house. Both her parents are helpers at the dockyard and have a son too. “Sreya vomited and fell unconscious. When we reached hospital, she stopped breathing,’’ said their neighbour Ganga Rao.
Penupolu Varalakshmi, 38, fell into a drain while running. Her husband Venkataramana, an auto driver, told officials they ran with their son but were separated. His wife fell into a drain and died before she could be rescued, he said.
Pitta Sankara Rao, 45, worked as a mason and often travelled for work. “There has been no work for the past one-and-a-half months and he was worried how we will pay for the education of our son and daughter, aged 15 and 17. Now, I don’t know how I will raise them,’’ his wife Amalamma said.
Chinni Ganga Raju, 48, also a mason and a friend of Sankara Rao, is survived by wife Nagamani, 38, a 17-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter.
Nabarthi Nani, 30, was a daily-wager. His wife Lakshmi, 27, and son and daughter returned from the hospital Monday. Venkat Reddy, an employee of LG Polymers who lives in R R Venkatapuram, said Nani was trying to get a job at the factory.
Forty-year-old Ravada Narayanamma, worked as a daily-wager and her husband Sathyamanthudu is physically challenged. K Rani, a village volunteer, said, “They have daughters. I don’t know how they will manage without Narayanamma.”
Yelamanchili Appala Narasamma, 45, died even before she could be put on an ambulance. Her husband Pydiraju, who is a cook at a catering agency, said she complained of breathlessness and collapsed in front of him.
Meka Krishna Murthy, 73, who lived in the village for 40 years, had retired from Endowments Department. He was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.