As per the reports from the locals, the gas leak occurred at night around 2:30 am from the LG Polymers chemical gas plant located in RR Venkatapuram(Vizag/Visakhapatnam), wherein the locals spotted a massive cloud of gas(styrene) leaking from the industry. Initially, it created a panic situation among the residents, and after smelling the bad odor a lot of people fled from their homes.
This matter wasn’t brought under the limelight till morning at 4 am, after which the police and 50 rescue teams from the navy rushed to the location and immediately started the evacuation process. Locals unaware of the situation who went out for casual morning strolls were seen lying unconscious on roads.
Estimated, around 5000 people were affected by this poisonous gas and reported symptoms like dizziness, headache, and burning sensation in their eyes and skin. Eleven people died due to this horrific incident, which included an 8-year old girl and a senior citizen. The officials said that the Vizag youth stepped up in this situation, and their effort was extremely remarkable in helping to bring this situation under control. Soon this matter was addressed by the AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, who announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore for the deceased people and further offered jobs to their family members. The center also reacted swiftly by sending NDRF and SDRF teams who helped in curbing the situation and also ordered airlift 500kgs of PTBC from Gujarat, which neutralized the effect of the gas.
Finally, just when we thought that the situation was under control, yet another panic situation was created the following night, where the locals reported that the toxic styrene gas had leaked once again. Immediately, every individual living in the 3 km radius were evacuated to a safer place. If it weren’t for the individual team sent from Gujarat, we still would have been facing the consequences, but thankfully the effect of the gas is wholly neutralized now. Even the Vizag locals have now started a protest to lift that industry from the residential area or ban the production of polystyrene for the time being until the lockdown is lifted.