A woman taken to hospital after the gas leak from LG Polymers
A woman taken to hospital after the gas leak from LG Polymers

At least eight people were killed and hundreds others hospitalised after a major gas leak at a polymer plant in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam in the wee hours of Thursday.

The gas leak impacted villages within a five kilometre radius of the LG Polymers plant, according to officials.

While LG Polymers is yet to issue a statement, here are something to know about them

1) Established in 1961: LG Polymers was established in 1961 in Visakhapatnam as Hindustan Polymers to manufacture Polystyrene

2) In 1978, Hindustan Polymers merged with McDowell and Co, a subsidiary of United Breweries Group formerly owned by Vijay Mallya

3) In July 1997, LG Chemical identified Hindustan Polymers as a suitable company for entering Indian market through 100% takeover. Hindustan Polymers was renamed as LG Polymers India Private Limited (LGPI) in July, 1997.

4) Interestingly, LG Polymers was not functioning during the lockdown. According to a report in New Indian Express, most of the pharma and related units were given permission as they fall under essential services category. NOCs were issued to115 of the 140 large industries. Only 20 industries such as LG Polymers, Asian Paints, Synergy Castings, Pidilite, are yet to resume operation.

5) People have also asked for the company to close down due to criminal negligence

Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy held a high-level review meeting to take stock of the situation and ordered a probe into the matter, state DGP D Gautam Sawang said.

At least 246 persons with health complications are undergoing treatment at the King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam and 20 of them are on ventilator support, he told reporters after the meeting with the chief minister.

In all, over 800 persons were evacuated from R R Venkatapuram following the gas leak and most of them only needed first aid.

The chief minister ordered an inquiry into the gas leak incident, the DGP said.

"How the gas leaked and why the neutraliser at the plant did not prove effective in containing the leak will all be investigated. Styrene, though, is not a poisonous gas and can be fatal only if inhaled in excess quantity," Sawang said.

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