SEOUL TEAM WILL PROBE VIZAG GAS LEAK

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - Ut­pal Bhaskar ut­pal.b@livemint.com

NEWDELHI:An eight-mem­ber tech­ni­cal team of LG Poly­mers from Seoul, led by the pres­i­dent of the petro­chem­i­cals com­pany, has left for In­dia to in­ves­ti­gate the cause of a gas leak its fa­cil­ity in Visakha­p­at­nam, the com­pany said.

Styrene gas had leaked from the LG Poly­mers In­dia Pvt. Ltd’s unit on May 7, killing 11 peo­ple, in­clud­ing a child, and re­sult­ing in the hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion of hun­dreds of peo­ple and the forced evac­u­a­tion of thou­sands of oth­ers. A FIR has been reg­is­tered against the com­pany for the dis­as­ter, which was one of the dead­li­est in­dus­trial ac­ci­dents since the Bhopal tragedy of 1984.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred at 3 am in RR Venkat­a­pu­ram vil­lage, Gopala­p­at­nam man­dal in Visakh­pat­nam district and af­fected the sur­round­ing vil­lages of Nar­ava, BC Colony, Ba­puji Na­gar,

Kam­pala­palem, and Kr­ishna Na­gar. The com­pany had ear­lier ad­mit­ted that the tragedy at Visakha­p­at­nam took place be­cause of leak­ing vapour from the styrene monomer gas stor­age tank at fa­cil­ity. Ini­tial re­ports had sug­gested that main­te­nance fail­ures, op­er­at­ing mis­takes, and im­proper stor­age of the styrene gas may have led to the tragedy.

“The tech­ni­cal team com­pris­ing ex­perts from pro­duc­tion, en­vi­ron­ment, and safety ar­eas aims to in­ves­ti­gate the cause of the in­ci­dent and promptly sup­port re­spon­si­ble re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, which is the main ob­jec­tive of the task force,” LG Poly­mers In­dia Pvt. Ltd said. The team will also “hold meet­ings with the lo­cal state gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. This team will work closely on ground along with the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned to re­solve the sit­u­a­tion and as­sist with real-time re­me­dial and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion mea­sures,” the com­pany said.

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