Ten people are dead, among them both children and seniors, while 300 have been hospitalized in the South Indian City of Vishakapatnam also known as Vizag, after a styrene gas leak at LG Polymers India Pvt. Ltd.
The gas leak which occurred at 3 A.M. at LG Polymer’s RR Venkatapuram plant near Vizag in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, has claimed the lives of ten people and sickened 5,000. The accident has led to panic over a two mile area. People were reported to be lying unconscious on roads while having difficulty breathing. Incidents of burning rashes on the body and sore eyes have also been reported by the Times of India newspaper.
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India tweeted, “Spoke to officials of [Interior Ministry] and [National Disaster Management Authority] regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely. “ Modi added, “I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam.”
Why It Matters
The South Korea based battery maker, LG Chemicals, owns LG Polymers. The India unit at Vishakapatnam manufactures general-purpose polystyrene, expandable polystyrene resin, and engineering plastics compounds.
In 1984 a gas leak at Union Carbide’s plant in Bhopal, in central India, officially killed 3,787 people, while activists put the death toll between 8,000-10,000. The survivors of that tragedy have been increasingly falling victim to COVID-19.