On May 7th at around 3:00AM local time, a chemical gas leaked occurred in Southern India. 13 residents of the city of Visakhapatnam died and hundreds were hospitalized. Luckily most of the people hospitalized were quickly discharged.
People experienced shortness of breath and a burning sensation in their eyes. Residents fell unconscious or were none the wiser of their sickness in slumber. More than 1,500 people were relocated from the residential areas in a 2 mile radius of the plant.
#VizagGasLeak update 4 @NDRFHQ at work assisting local people & admin on site for evacuation & relief @PIBHomeAffairs @ndmaindia @vizagcitypolice @vizagcollector @HMOIndia @BhallaAjay26 pic.twitter.com/Mfow4caiWg
— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्यनारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯ ପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) May 7, 2020
The industrial plant is owned by LG Polymers, which is own by the South Korean mega-corporation LG. LG Chem Ltd has said it is investigating the cause of the leak. A night shift maintenance worker discovered the leak and confirmed it was Styrene gas. Styrene is highly flammable and releases a poisonous gas when burned.
Plant operations had only resumed earlier this week after being shut down at the end of March due to India’s coronavirus nationwide lock down.