Gas leak at Vizag LG factory
- At least 10 people were killed and nearly 350 hospitalised after styrene gas leaked from Multinational LG Polymers Ltd. , a chemical factory on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
- This incident happened after the factory was being prepared for reopening after the easing of the lockdown.
CAUSE OF LEAKAGE
- Stagnation and changes in temperature inside the storage tank could have resulted in auto polymerization and could have caused vapourisation.
ABOUT STYRENE GAS
- It is a flammable liquid that is used in the manufacturing of polystyrene plastics, fiberglass, rubber, and latex. It is also known as Vinyl Benzene, Ethyl Benzene and Phenyl Benzene.
- It is also found in vehicle exhaust, cigarette smoke, and in natural foods like fruits and vegetables.
- According to the US-based Environment Protection Agency (EPA), short-term exposure to the substance can result in respiratory problems, irritation in the eyes, irritation in the mucous membrane, and gastrointestinal issues.
- Long-term exposure could drastically affect the central nervous system and lead to other related problems like peripheral neuropathy. It could also lead to cancer and depression in some cases.
ABOUT LG Factory
- It was originally established in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers to manufacture polystyrene.
- It is located at RRV Puram near Gopalapatnam, about 15 kms from Visakhapatnam.
- It was merged with MCDowell &Co of the UB Group in 1978.
- In 1997, the factory was taken over by South Korea-based LG Chem and then it was renamed as LG Polymers Limited.
- The factory manufactures general-purpose, high-impact and expandable polystyrene, as well as engineering plastics compounds.
- It employs around 300 people.
STATE AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT MEASURES
- The Andhra government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore each for families of the deceased, besides a compensation package for those affected and those who have lost livestock.
- The Centre has decided to dispatch a CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Emergency Team of the NDRF from Pune, which specialises in handing chemical disasters.
- Andhra Pradesh’s CM-Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy (YSRCP)
- Andhra Pradesh’s Governor– Biswabhusan Harichandan
- Andhra Pradesh’s Capital-Amaravati