Hundreds injured and 13 dead in Indian gas leak

A gas leak in India has led to the death of 13 people, with hundreds more injured. The leak took place on May 7 in Visakhapatnam, a city in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

An LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam was the source of the leak, with 8.3 tonnes of toxic chemicals being removed from the plant by the Indian Air Force in the days following the leak. The leak occurred following the re-opening of the plant following closure during the coronavirus lockdown. The toxicity of the leak was so high that 1,500 people were evacuated from the surrounding region.

Three of those killed by the leak were children, and videos of those struggling from the gas leak are circulating the web.

One witness describing the incident to the BBC said: ‘One could feel the gas in the air and it was not possible for any of us to stay there for more than a few minutes.’

LG has confirmed that the leak is now solved and is looking to “provide speedy treatment” to those injured. Following the leak, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called for an emergency meeting, and Indian authorities have launched a manslaughter investigation into the responsibility of the leak. Further to this, information has been released by the Guardian stating that the South Korean plant had been operating illegally in India till just last year.

The deaths have led to a national uproar, with protestors demanding that the plant be indefinitely closed. Over 300 people carried the bodies of those killed by the gas leak and forced past security forces into the LG plant. They demanded justice for the dead, with many expressing that the incident reminded them of a major India gas leak in 1984 which left thousands of people dead.

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Piriyanga Thirunimalan

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November 2021
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