Panic struck in the early of Thursday, May 7 in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam following a gas leak at a chemical factory in the RR Venkatapuram village. At least eight persons, including a minor, were reported dead in the major gas leak at an LG Polymer industry unit.
Over a thousand persons have been rushed for treatment to various hospitals after complaining of breathing difficulties, burning sensation in the eyes, vomiting and headache.
Vizag gas leak tragedy
The incident took place at a polymers unit located in the vicinity of the Naiduthota area near Gopalapatnam. More than a 1,000 people in five surrounding villages, in a three km radius, have been reported sick. Disturbing videos and visuals of scores of people lying unconscious on the ground are being circulated on social media.
According to initial reports by Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) Commissioner Srijana Gummalla, "Primary report is PVC gas (or Styrene) leaked from LG Polymers, Vepagunta near Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam at around 2:30 am today."
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
'The gas has been neutralised, NDRF team reached the spot'
Visakhapatnam City Police Commissioner RK Meena was quoted by ANI, "The gas has been neutralised. NDRF team has reached the spot. The maximum impact of the gas leak was in the 1-1.5 km radius but the smell spread upto 2-2.5 km. Around 100-120 people have been shifted to the hospital."
According to reports by ANI, NDRF said, "Total 27 persons are involved in the relief and rescue operation being conducted by NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) who are expert in dealing with industrial leakage. 80 to 90 per cent evacuation is completed."
'Spoken to MHA, NDMA officials. I pray for everyone's safety': PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Spoke to officials of MHA(Ministry of Home Affairs) and NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) regarding situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely. I pray for everyone's safety and well-being 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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 7, 2020
CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will leave for Vizag and visit King George Hospital where the affected are being treated. Chief Minister is closely monitoring the situation and has instructed the district machinery to take immediate steps and provide all help.
G Kishan Reddy, MoS Home Affairs, said "My condolences to the families of 5 people who passed away due to gas leak at a private firm in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh today. Spoke to the Chief Secretary & DGP of the state to take stock of the situation."
(to be further updated)