Thousands of people have been evacuated after a suffocating toxic gas leak at an LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam in southern India, in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
At least 13 people, including a child, have been confirmed dead and hundreds more have been hospitalized. More than 280 people are now in hospital, said K Kanna Babu, managing director of the state's disaster response force. Nearly 1,000 suffered breathing difficulties and other reactions. Most of the dead were driving or standing on terraces outside their homes. Others slipped into unconsciousness while they were sleeping, said Mekapati Goutham Reddy, minister for Industries, Commerce, and Information Technology in Andhra Pradesh. The gas has been identified as Styrene, a synthetic chemical flammable liquid that is used to make a variety of industrial products. Effects manifested in a 3 kilometers area. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team equipped with gas masks checked houses.
People were lying in the streets after they collapsed while trying to flee. The plant is owned by the South Korean company LG Chem, a subsidiary of the megacorporation LG Chem Ltd. It reopened after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased. The gas leak occurred during the process of re-starting. The gas came out the factory's chimney and was carried by the wind.