Eleven people including a child reportedly died after toxic gas leaked from a chemical plant of a multinational firm in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam. More than 200 people have been admitted to hospital. Ambulances, fire engines and policemen have reached the chemical plant, officials said.
Residents near the chemical gas plant of LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd in the district's village RR Venkatapuram reported of burning sensation in their eyes and difficulty in breathing, officials said. They were immediately taken to hospital, they said.
"There is gas leakage identified at LG Polymers in Gopalpatnam. Requesting Citizens around these locations not to come out of houses for the sake of safety precautions," the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation tweeted.
There is gas leakage identified at LG Polymers in Gopalpatnam. Requesting Citizens around these locations not to come out of houses for the sake of safety precautions.— Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) (@GVMC_OFFICIAL) May 7, 2020
In visuals, at least a hundred people are seen on a chaotic road trying to help the injured and putting them into waiting ambulances. An industrial siren is heard in the background. People in masks are seen carrying others who show signs of difficulty in breathing. They are made to sit on the road divider till the ambulances arrived.
CORE & VULNERABLE AREAS MAP OF PVC GAS LEAKAGE. REQUESTING CITIZENS TO USE WET MASKS OR WET CLOTH TO COVER YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH. pic.twitter.com/7u9U5zDBLN— Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) (@GVMC_OFFICIAL) May 7, 2020
Mobile videos taken by rescuers show nearly 10 people lying on the ground. It's not clear whether they were unconscious or the casualties would rise.
In one of the mobile videos, a woman standing near a scooter suddenly collapses on the pavement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is praying for everyone's safety in Visakhapatnam. "Spoke to officials of MHA and NDMA regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely. I pray for everyone's safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam," PM Modi tweeted.
Spoke to officials of MHA and NDMA regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 7, 2020
I pray for everyone's safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tweeted his condolences.
I'm shocked to hear about the— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 7, 2020
#VizagGasLeak . I urge our Congress workers & leaders in the area to provide all necessary support & assistance to those affected. My condolences to the families of those who have perished. I pray that those hospitalised make a speedy recovery.
Set up in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers, the company was taken over by South Korea's LG Chem and renamed as LG Polymers India in 1997. The plant makes polystyrene and expandable polystyrene, a versatile plastic used to make a wide variety of consumer products like toys and appliances.