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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Visakhapatnam gas leak: Residents protest with bodies of victims, firm issues apology

During the demonstration, bodies of three victims were brought by their family members and kept outside the factory. Several youths tried to climb the gates and enter the premises.

By: Express News Service | Hyderabad | Published: May 10, 2020 3:32:44 am
vizag gas leak, lg polymer gas leak, vizag gas leak protests, protests with bodies, vishakhapatnam gas leak, indian express Police try to control protesters outside LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam, Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

Residents of the villages affected by the gas leak at L G Polymers in Visakhapatnam held a demonstration outside the factory on Saturday, demanding action against the managers and the company.

During the demonstration, bodies of three victims were brought by their family members and kept outside the factory. Several youths tried to climb the gates and enter the premises.

The protesters left after police intervened and state minister M Srinivasa Rao assured them that action would be taken against the factory after the probe into the gas leak.

The agitated residents are demanding that the government shut down the factory or shift it.

Andhra Pradesh DGP D Goutam Sawang and NDRF officials were inside the factory to check on the measures taken to stop the leak when the demonstration outside took place. “The gas leak has been contained and the situation is under total control now,” the DGP said.

“More technical teams from petroleum and chemical industry will arrive today to inspect. The leakage and the chemical reaction has been stopped and there is nothing of concern now. I interacted with NDRF’s technical experts and scientists also. While the leak has been plugged, experts advised Friday that to be on the safe side, people of the five villages surrounding the factory should remain at relief camps for 48 hours. This is the protocol,’’ he said.

The DGP said the probe committee will meet the experts in a day or two and start investigating how the incident took place.

LG Polymers issued an apology Saturday. In a statement, the company said, “LG Polymers India would like to express sincere condolences and apologies to all who have been affected by this incident. We would like to assure everyone that the company is committed to work closely with the authorities in India to investigate the cause of the incident, prevent recurrence in the future, and secure the foundation for care and treatment.”

“Our initial investigations suggest that the cause of the incident is prima facie by the leaking vapor from the Styrene Monomer storage tank near the general purpose poly styrene factory. We are happy to confirm that the status-quo at the plant is brought under control this morning. While focusing on stabilising the plant, we assure you that we are doing our best to extend all possible support to ensure people and their families who have been affected by this incident are taken care of,” the statement added.

The company said its teams are working with the government to “assess the impact of the damage caused and create concrete measures to deliver an effective care package that can be implemented immediately”.

“A special task force has been set up to help victims and families to resolve any issues and provide every assistance to the bereaved families. All families will be contacted shortly,” it said.

The task force, the company said, is responsible for providing medical supplies, household goods, and emotional management to the victims.

Meanwhile, over 50 victims of the gas leak were discharged on Saturday from hospitals.

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