New Delhi: The Gas Leak at an LG Polymers factory on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in the early hours has left almost eight dead and more than hundreds hospitalized. The gas leak brings back memories of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, which took place more than 35 years ago, killing thousands of people. The Gas Leak has left people in shock amid the consistent fight against Covid-19 which has already claimed more than 50,000 lives.
Which are the affected areas so far?
The styrene Gas Leak, also known as PVC gas, affected areas including RRV Puram, Venkatapuram, BC Colony, Padmapuram, and Kamparapalem. Many people have left the area while several fell unconscious on the roads. Police and NDRF teams evacuated several factory workers while others have been taken to the King George Hospital. Children and the elderly were most affected, according to the Indian Express report.
When was the factory established?
The factory was first established in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers to manufacture polystyrene. Later it was integrated with McDowell &Co of the UB Group in 1978 before being acquired by South Korea-based LG Chem in 1997 which renamed it as LG Polymers.
What does it manufacture?
The company is into the business of manufacturing general-purpose polystyrene and high impact polystyrene, expandable polystyrene, and engineering plastics compounds. It has a very strong presence in the Styrenics business in South Korea and considered one of the leading manufacturers of Polystyrene and Expandable Polystyrene in India.
When did the gas leak?
At the time of the suspected leakage in the plant around 2.30 AM on Thursday, the workers were checking a gas storage tank. According to experts if a person is exposed to styrene for a long time it can cause serious multiple complications. However, the studies on the reproductive and developmental effects of styrene are still inconclusive. Some experts opine that the gas may affect the central nervous system, peripheral neuropathy, and cause extreme weakness and fatigue.