Two people died and four others were hospitalised with breathing difficulties after they inhaled poisonous Benzimidazole gas that leaked from a reactor at a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Visakhapatnam, officials said on Tuesday. A probe has been ordered into the incident.
According to officials, on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, six personnel, including the two deceased — chemists R Narendra and G Shankar — were working near a reactor in the manufacturing plant of Sainor Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, located in Pharma City, when the leak occurred. At least 30-35 people were working in the factory at the time. The facility was shut down immediately as a precautionary measure, officials added. They added that four employees had been hospitalised with serious breathing difficulties.
Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner R K Meena said one of them is critical while the others are stable. He added that the leak did not spread outside the plant. This is the third gas leak causing deaths in Andhra Pradesh in the last two months. On May 7, a styrene vapour leak at the LG Polymers factory in Visakhapatnam had killed 10 people and left thousands unwell. On June 27, one person died of inhaling ammonia at the SPY Agro Industry plant in Kurnool district.
Officials said Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke to District Collector Vinay Chand about Tuesday’s incident. Chand has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
TDP president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed demanded that the state government provide the best possible treatment to the affected people. In a statement here, Naidu said even as people were emerging from the LG Polymers tragedy, another leak occurred. He termed the situation “alarming”.
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