- Leak occurred because the valve controls for the gas were not handled properly
- LG Chen which operates the factory has said it is 'exploring ways' to provide treatment to victims
- The company has also said the situation is now under control
- The factory was originally run by Hindustan Polymers, a company which started operations in 1961
The gas leak at a chemical factory in Vizag on Thursday morning was triggered by a malfunctioning of a valve. Total 11 people have died and 200 are hospitalised in the incident. A senior official investigating the matter told Business Today on condition of anonymity that the "the valve controls for the gas were not handled properly and they burst causing the leak".
The official added investigations were still on to find the exact reason behind the leak. The leak occurred at around 2.30 am when villagers in the areas surrounding the factory were sleeping. Villagers say they should have been alerted by authorities with a siren so they could have hurried to safer places.
Chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is scheduled to visit the patients admitted in hospitals and assess the situation. Meanwhile, LG Chem which operates the factory has said the situation is now under control. It has also said it is "exploring all ways" to provide treatment to the victims.
"The gas leak situation is now under control and we are exploring all ways to provide speedy treatment for those who suffer from inhaling the leaked gas. We are investigating the extent of damage and exact cause of the leak and deaths," LG Chem said in a statement.
The factory has been around in its current form since 1997. The factory was originally run by Hindustan Polymers, a company which started operations in 1961. The company manufactured Polystyrene and co-polymers. Hindustan Polymers later merged with Mc Dowell & Co. Ltd. of UB Group in 1978. Subsequently, LG Chem of South Korea took over Hindustan Polymers and renamed it as LG Polymers India Private Limited (LGPI) in July, 1997.
The company is in the styrenics business and is a leading manufacturer of polystyrene and expandable polystyrene in India.