Gas leak: 11 killed,  300 hospitalised in Vizag
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Gas leak: 11 killed, 300 hospitalised in Vizag

May 7, 2020

Visakhapatnam: A gas leak at a polymer plant in Visakhapatnam has killed 11 people and forced the evacuation of thousands of people in the 3-kilometre radius. The leakage of styrene gas, which causes nausea and dizziness, took place early this morning when the plant was preparing to resume production later today in view of the eased COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

In the villages closest to the plant located on the outskirts of the city, visuals on social media early this morning showed people lying motionless on the streets, at least two had fallen into the drains.

Elsewhere also, there were videos of parents carrying unconscious children in their arms on the streets and running to get medical help. Many others were seen dazed sitting on the pavements. Some more lay on the roads, a young woman among them was seen collapsing. The Municipal Corporation tweeted that people in an area within approximately 3-kilometre radius of the plant were vulnerable.

The incident evoked memories of the gas leaked from a pesticide plant in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal in 1984. That incident, counted among one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, had killed 3,500 people. 

In Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dialled Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and promised all the help that he would need. Jagan Mohan Reddy left Visakhapatnam soon after.

PM Modi also called a meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority that he leads. “I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam,” PM Modi said in a tweet before the meeting started. According to news agency ANI, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief S.N. Pradhan said about 1,000 to 1,500 people had been evacuated by the authorities and more than 800 taken to hospital.

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Most of the people taken to hospital were later discharged. Visakhapatnam District Medical and Health Officer Tirumala Rao told reporters, around 2 pm that 300 people were still admitted to various hospitals. Late afternoon, Pradhan told a news briefing in Delhi that 11 people had died in the incident.

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced Rs. 1 crore compensation for the next of kin of the dead besides Rs. 10 lakh to people who have been put on ventilator and Rs. 25,000 to those who were treated as outpatients. The CM also announced that a committee has been set up to probe the incident and the Government was prepared to have the company shift to a different location if recommended by the panel.

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Gas leak: 11 killed, 300 hospitalised in Vizag”

  1. Ashok says:

    Really sad state of affairs and totally unacceptable. Root cause analysis must be conducted and Company and management held responsible. I work in Industrial Automation field and with the technology available such industrial hazard can be contained and a safe shutdown (ESD) is initiated,

  2. H.R.Bapu Satyanarayana says:

    While it is tragic that in the wake of Covid -19 many tragic deaths have ocured, the lock down has also brought some great stories of our great warriors, the doctors, nurses and other staff member are going about their work day and night without rest and away from their families. . Yes, tragedy has stuck with few dying on the line of duty. Normally Indian police do not have a good image but this Coronavirus has brought the best in them. They are doing their magnificent job under trying circumstances . The TV is full of pictures the way people defy the lock down instructions , refuse to wear the mask thinking it will not effect them while keeping social distance has been followed b more by breach. The work of the police is doubly difficult because the only weapon they have is the lathi which is a poor defense to tackle enraged people who think their freedom has been curtailed little realising their defiance may spread infection.They are quick to anger and has little patience to realise what danger India is passing through the unprecedented situation. We have already seen how the hands of a SP in Punjab was cut by a sward. Fortunattely his operation was successful and he wants to return to duty after the operation!. We have seen the worst and the best in human beahviour. No doubt the armed forces have done their best to honour these brave warriors. We have seen people clapping while flowers were showered on them. This is the time this spirit of gratefulness should be the order of the day in future also so that there is a mutual awareness on both sides so that this type of service continues even after the crisis blows over for the present the whole of India must rise to express our gratefulnes to them. This crisi has brought out some hidden talent. Now there is plethora of innovative songs we hear through varrious media. It is mind blowing. For people who entertain us with humour Coronavirus has given a new impetus to tickle us. Then of course there are puzzles that keep the ladies occupied. It is also predicted that there will be baby boom after nine months. Probably the children should be named with initials starting with Corona. There may be lot of jokes too. The other day my cousin told me something that sent be bursting with laughter. It appears there is an elderly couple living in the multi-storeyed building in which he lives.Probably the elderly husband is not to bright. When he called on this couple the elderly gentleman in all seriousness said when will Mysore be free of red light district so that we can move freely! I asked him whether he was joking but my cousin said that he said in all seriousnes and did not realise what he was ssying . Probably he wanted to refer to red zone but mistaking it to redlight district! Well there sis no end to what people can do during this lockdown. First thing is to catch up with waht you wanted do like reading a book or righting aa memoir For the husband he can now give a relief to his wife who has been slogging all these years to cater to the whims and fancies of the master of the house. It si spossibly the time to revert to age old practice of taking food together. May be children and youngsters keep the ubiquitous mobile a rest or use it in useful ways. There are any number of possibilities.

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