New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Gas leakage has been reported once again at the chemical factory in Visakhapatnam where leakage occured on Thursday, killing 11 people and leaving over 1,000 infected, reported news agency ANI quoting officials. 

Over a dozen fire tenders were at the spot, along with NDRF team. Ambulances have been kept on standby. 

"Gas fumes leaking again from the tanker where there was Styrene leakage today. Around 50 fire staffers, with NDRF's support, are carrying out operation. We've ordered evacuation of villages in 2-3 km radius for safe side precautions," said Visakhapatnam District Fire Officer Sandeep Anand. 

"10 more fire tenders, including 2 foam tenders, are present at the spot. Ambulances are ready for any emergency," he added. 

However, a Times of India report quoted MLA Ganababu denying reports of leakage, adding that the villages were evacuated as a precautionary measure as NDRF teams were working inside the plant. 

"Those are rumours. Some NDRF team from Gujarat engaged in repair works inside the plant. As a precautionary measure, the surrounding people were evacuated to the safer places," Ganababu was quoted by Times of India as saying.

Earlier in the day, gas leakage at the LG Polymers chemical plant quickly spread to villages in a five-kilometre radius, killing at least 11 people and impacting about 1,000, many collapsing to the ground as they tried to escape the toxic vapours.

Scores of people could be seen lying unconscious on sidewalks, near ditches and on the road, raising fears of a major industrial disaster.

Among the dead were two children, aged six and nine, a first year medical student and two people who fell into a well while fleeing the vapours from the plant, getting ready to reopen after the lockdown.

A preliminary report by the Factories Department indicated the leak was caused by a technical glitch in the refrigeration unit attached to the two styrene tanks, district officials said.

As much as 1,800 tonnes of styrene is said to have been in the storage tank when the leakage happened.
Styrene gas, used to make polystyrene plastics, fibreglass, rubber, and latex, affects the central nervous system, throat, skin, eyes and some other parts of the body.

Taking stock of the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had spoken to officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

"I pray for everyone's safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam," Modi said in a tweet.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also expressed their distress and condoled the loss of lives.

Addressing a joint press conference in Delhi in the afternoon National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and NDMA officials said 11 people died and 1,000 were exposed, to the gas.

Posted By: abhinav gupta