Vizag chemical plant gas leak incident needs to be fully investigated: UN chief

PTI

File photo of UN chief Antonio Guterres.

File photo of UN chief Antonio Guterres.

The gas leak from a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam, that killed at least 11 people and impacted about 1,000, needs to be fully investigated by local authorities, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday.

“We obviously send our condolences to the victims and hope for quick recovery to those who have been impacted. And I think these kinds of incidents need to be fully investigated by the local authorities, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at the daily press briefing.

He was asked about the gas leak from the multinational L G Polymers Plant at R R Venkatapuram village near Visakhapatnam and whether the UN is involved in any way with efforts.

I’m not aware that we’re involved in any way, Dujarric said.

Gas leaked from a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam in the early hours of Thursday and quickly spread to villages in a five-kilometre radius, killing at least 11 people and impacting about 1,000, many collapsing to the ground as they tried to escape the toxic vapours.

Hours after the styrene gas leak around 2.30 am from the multinational L G Polymers Plant at R R Venkatapuram village near here, scores of people could be seen lying unconscious on sidewalks, near ditches and on the road, raising fears of a major industrial disaster.

Among the dead were two children, aged six and nine, a first year medical student and two people who fell into a well while fleeing the vapours from the plant, getting ready to reopen after the lockdown. Cries for help broke the silence of the night and many people fell unconscious in their sleep, a villager said.