Nearly 200 people fell unconscious and at least eight were killed, including a six-year-old, after a chemical gas leaked from a plastic manufacturing unit of LG Polymers in Andhra Pradesh's Gopalapatnam, near Visakhapatnam.
Preliminary reports state that the gas which is suspected to be either polyvinyl chloride or styrene leaked at around 2:30 am. Styrene is a common chemical used in the plastic industry. The minimum staff was deployed inside as the plant was shut for the past 40 days due to the coronavirus lockdown.
As hundreds of people have inhaled the gas, the municipal commissioner fears the death toll could rise.
In an attempt to subside the effect, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) personnel are blowing water. People have been asked to wear masks after wetting them in water.
Over 110 people shifted from the Venkatapuram village, which is in 1.5 km radius to the unit and is said to be the worst affected village. While five villages have been completely evacuated, the rest are in progress, reported News18.
According to officials, nine villages have been impacted. Some people claimed that the intensity of the gas has resulted in the colour of trees getting changed.
The CM office said that the situation is being closely monitored by Chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, and he will leave for Visakhapatnam shortly.
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