7 Dead, 5 Villages Affected in Vizag Gas Leak
In scenes reminiscent of the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, the streets and hospitals of Visakhapatnam were filled with people in panic, scared to breathe and unable to fathom the silent tragedy that struck them.
 
According to Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation officials, the tragedy took place when the chemical unit, closed due to the lock-down, was being restarted on Thursday morning. The gas stored in tanks began leaking and spread in a radius of 3km. Officials have zeroed in on two gases, styrene and pentine, as the likely causes for the accident.
 
Early morning sights included people lying unconscious on the streets and dead cattle by the roadside. People, with children strung over their shoulders, ran in panic towards hospitals. Ambulances rushed to the area and transported 70 unconscious people to the King George hospital. 
 
A large number of those hospitalised are children.
 
Eyewitnesses said that the incident took place around 2.30am. when people were fast asleep in their homes. All of a sudden, people in surrounding areas woke up with a sense of breathlessness, terrible itching and burning sensation in their eyes. 
 
Panic-stricken they rushed out of their homes, only to collapse. Several cattle and livestock also succumbed to the poisonous gas pervading the air.
 
The impact of the tragedy was reduced to some extent as the plant operatives immediately alerted the authorities following which the district administration swung into action, an official said.
 
The surrounding areas within a radius of 3kms have been cleared of people and arrangements made for feeding around 7,500 people who have been asked to vacate their homes.
 
Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi and home minister (HM) Amit Shah are keepinmg abreast of all details. Mr Modi has started a meeting with NDMA officials to moniter the situation.
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired about the gas leak incident in Visakhapatnam and directed the district officials to take every possible step to save lives and bring the situation under control.
 
The Chief Minister will proceed to Vizag to take stock of the situation and visit the hospital where the affected are being treated. Mr Modi tweeted that he has spoken to officials in the ministry of home affairs. Union minister of state for home affairs G Kishan Reddy is also monitoring the situation.
 
Officials said that the leak has been sealed and the gas dissipates fast and so the death toll may not increase substantially.
 
LG Polymers, is among India's leading manufacturer of polystyrene and expandable polystyrene. The plant located at Visakhapatnam, belongs to the Mumbai-based LG Polymers India, which is part of the South Korean group LG Chemical.
 
Originally set up in 1961, as Hindustan Polymers for manufacturing polystyrene and its co-polymers, the company was merged with McDowell & Co Ltd of UB Group in 1978. It ultimately became part of the South Korean group LG Chemical, in 1997.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    shirish.s

    4 months ago

    People have not learnt from the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in the year 1984.

    A company using harmful gas should be taken away from Municipal area.
    Still, this LG polymer factory is within Greater Vishakapatnam Municipal Corporation area.

    REPLY

    C V MANIAN

    In Reply to shirish.s 4 months ago

    In India, people will never learn because all authorities can be bought. This incident needs to be investigated thoroughly and the people affected compensated. Not the great whitewashing like Bhopal tragedy. The company cannot just walk away from its responsibilities. If LG Chairman can plead guilty for things that happen in S Korea, the same thing can be extended to account for the responsibilities.

    Unprecedented traffic 'downs' MoCA website on eve of India's air rescue ops
    Unprecedented internet traffic on the eve of one of the largest air rescue operations in the world brought 'down' the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation's website on Wednesday.
     
    Accordingly, the ministry said that NIC is working on to fix the glitch caused. "Details regarding evacuation flights will be put up on the Air India website soon. Kindly check there directly. Our apologies for the inconvenience caused," the ministry tweeted
     
    India will commence one of the world's largest air rescue operations from May 7, when Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express will start the first phase of the mission. As per the plans, these two airlines will operate 64-flights in seven days to bring back 14,800 stranded Indians from 12 countries.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Meenal Mamdani

    4 months ago

    While I am glad that Indians stranded in other countries are being brought back with the help of GoI, contrast this with the utter lack of planning to help the migrant labor return to their villages.

    The poor do not expect anything different. Even the Supreme Court refuses to hold the govt responsible for the dire situation of these migrant labor and their families saying that they accept the govt's presentation that they are doing every thing possible for such people and there is no cause for alarm.

    If the justices do not see destitution around them does it mean that therefore that this does not exist? Do we actually have to see scenes to believe that they are happening?

    It is we, the educated, affluent citizens who should be holding the govt to account and making our shock and dismay known to the justices who have decided to trust the govt account rather than the reports of many credible reporters who have witnessed the desperate conditions of these migrants.

    93% Indians anxious about returning to office post lockdown: Survey
    At least 93 per cent of the employees working in India are anxious to return to office as and when the lockdown period gets over, and nearly 85 per cent expect their office spaces to be sanitised before they return to work, a new survey said on Wednesday.
     
    A health-tech community product, FYI, undertook the survey conducted by MindMap Advance Research with 560 India Inc. entities, including employees from across small, medium and large enterprises in major metro cities of Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
     
    Of these employees, 85 per cent were male and 15 per cent were female. The data also showed that 59 per cent employees are concerned about their health, 25 per cent said they are anxious about their financial situation, while 16 per cent fear that the crisis will be a prolonged one, leading to high anxiety.
     
    Nearly 85 per cent expect their employers to implement and enforce safety guidelines and advisories and seek out new and innovative ways to protect their health while they are in the office.
     
    "India Inc. employees are clearly stressed on the account of their health and that needs to be managed on priority," the survey said.
     
    Evidence supports the fact that happier and secure employees are more productive than those under stress, said Yeishan Goel, Co-founder, FYI.
     
    According to the report, 99 per cent of the employees said that they would like to see a system of Corporate Health Responsibility (CHR) being made mandatory for the employers, just like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). 
     
    These expectations are based on the recognition among employees that it would require them to participate in the efforts which the employers undertake to make their health a priority. 
     
    At least 82 per cent said that they would agree to participate in the measures that require them to be monitored, while 18 per cent said that they would comply if the privacy of their data is assured.
     
    A high sense of solidarity emerges among the employees, with 96 per cent confirming that they would embrace and comply with the health monitoring initiatives, despite the inconveniences they may cause.
     
    The survey showed that 81 per cent of the employees would resume work only in batches, while 73 per cent expect the employers to enforce work from home as an ongoing process.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    m.prabhu.shankar

    4 months ago

    IT and BPO sectors should be made mandatory work from home as they can execute the projects from home. Why should they be asked to come to office ? They should be mandated to work from home till the time the COVID-19 Pandemic is completely eliminated.

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