LG Polymers said today said the tragedy at Vishakhapatnam occurred due to leaking vapor from the styrene monomer (SM) gas storage tank at its facility. As many as 11 people died and around 1,000 were affected by styrene gas leak at the plant on Thursday early morning. The incident is one of the deadliest industrial accidents since the Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984. Police have registered a first information report, or FIR, against LG Polymers India Pvt. Ltd.
"Our initial investigations suggest that the cause of the incident is prima facie by the leaking vapor from the Styrene Monomer (SM) storage tank near the GPPS (General Purpose Poly Styrene) factory on Thursday, May 7," a Livemint report cited LG Polymers as saying.
Initially reports suggested maintenance failures, operating errors, and improper storage of the toxic styrene gas, might have led to the incident.
A day after the Andhra Pradesh government constituted a five-member team to probe the Visakhapatnam gas leak incident, TDP chief N Chandrababu Nadu today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set up a scientific experts' committee to investigate the matter.
In a letter to Modi, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief also commended the "quick response" of the central government in controlling the styrene vapour leak from the plastics manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam.
The company on Friday clarified that the situation at the plant was under control and media reports of a second leak were incorrect.
It also said that all necessary measures were being used to keep the temperatures under control.
"We have requested authorities for evacuation of residents as a precautionary measure," LG Polymers said.
The National Green Tribunal on Friday imposed fine of Rs 50 crore for the damage caused dut to gas leak. The tribunal also issued notices and ordered the firm to form a fact-finding panel.
The leak of styrene, a chemical used to make synthetic rubber and resins, among others, occurred in LG Polymers Limited plant at R R Venkatapuram village near Vishakhapatnam in the early hours on May 7 while people were still fast asleep. LG Polymers is a part of South Korea-based firm LG Chemicals.