Andhra sets up high-level committee to probe Vizag gas leak

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The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday constituted a five-member high-power committee to investigate the leakage of styrene gas from the LG Polymer plant at RR Venkatapuram in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

 

The committee headed by special chief secretary (EFS and T department Neeraj Kumar Prasad will inquire into the reasons for the leakage, and whether the company had adhered to safety protocols.

It will also study if there are any long-term effects of the gas leakage on the surrounding villages and recommend action to be taken against the industrial unit in case of any negligence, that led to gas leakage.

Further, the committee will suggest measures to be taken by industry units, including safety audits, to prevent such mishaps in the future, and in case, there are any observations and suggestions for all similar industrial plants, they will be included in the report.

The AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has been directed to provide assistance to the committee in preparing the report. The committee has been asked to submit its final report within one month.

The gas leak had left 12 people dead and more than 200 people ill after they inhaled the styrene gas. The people were staying in the RR Venkatapuram village and four other villages in the vicinity of the LG Polymers chemical plant near Visakhapatnam.

Meanwhile, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed officials to immediately release Rs one crore ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased in the tragedy. The direction was given during a review meeting he held with state officials through video conferencing on Friday.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Neelam Sahni, Vizag Collector Vinay Chand and Police Commissioner RK Meena.

Image Credit: Indian Express

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