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Vizag: Grim scenes bring back memories of Bhopal gas tragedy

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: May 07, 2020 15:17 IST
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Unconscious children being carried by parents in their arms, people laying on roads, health workers scrambling to attend to those affected by the styrene vapour leak and residents fleeing were some of the scenes that played out near Visakhapatnam on Thursday, bringing back grim memories of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

 

IMAGE: A man rushes to take his child for treatment at King George Hospital after a major chemical gas leakage at LG Polymers industry in RR Venkatapuram village, Visakhapatnam, on Thursday. Photograph: PTI Photo

The leak of styrene, a chemical used to make synthetic rubber and resins, among others, occurred in the wee hours of Thursday while people were still fast asleep.

IMAGE: A woman looks at her child lying on the pavement. Photograph: ANI Photo

Women and children were seen lying on roads struggling to breath, reminiscent of the infamous Bhopal gas tragedy when a leak from the Union Carbide plant left around 3,500 dead and many maimed.

IMAGE: A woman rushes to take her child for treatment. Photograph: ANI Photo

The worst-hit Gopalapatnam village reverberated with cries of people for help.

Many people fell unconscious during their sleep, a villager said.

IMAGE: An affected woman being taken for treatment at King George Hospital. Photograph: PTI Photo

Affected people, suffering writ large on their faces, were rushed to hospitals in autorickshaws and on two wheelers.

Visakhapatnam Collector Vinay Chand said 20 ambulances were pressed into service as soon information about the gas leak was received.

IMAGE: Affected children being treated at King George Hospital. Photograph: PTI Photo

Exposure to styrene, also known as ethenylbenzene, vinylbenzene can affect the central nervous system (CNS), causing headache, fatigue, weakness, and depression.

It is primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics and resins.

 

IMAGE: Family members take their unconscious children to hospital. Photograph: PTI Photo

LG Polymers was established in 1961 as 'Hindustan Polymers' for manufacturing Polystyrene and its co-polymers at Visakhapatnam.

The gas leak took place at LG Polymers chemical plant.

 

IMAGE: An affected child being treated at King George Hospital. Photograph: PTI Photo

It merged with McDowell & Co. Ltd of UB Group in 1978, according to the company's website.

Taken over by LG Chem (South Korea), Hindustan Polymers was renamed LG Polymers India Private Limited (LGPI) in July, 1997.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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