INDUSTRIAL DISASTER 2.0……?

(GAS LEAK AT VIZAG)

By Shubham Diwate

07 May, 2020

Another Industrial Disaster happened at Gopalapatnam (Dist. Vishakhapatnam) as gas leaked around 3am when people were fast asleep when incident took place. Workers were preparing for the reopening of the plant today when gas started leaking in the early hours. An FIR has been lodged against LG Polymers and an inquiry has been ordered. The factory manufactures general-purpose polystyrene and high impact polystyrene, expandable polystyrene, and engineering plastics compounds.

Children and the elderly were most affected. At least 20 persons have been kept on ventilators in hospitals while 246 persons remain admitted, the DGP said. While eight persons died due to inhaling the styrene gas, three were killed while trying to escape from the area. 

Causes:

A technical glitch in the refrigeration unit attached to the two styrene tanks at a chemical plant caused the vapour leak that killed 11 people and affected around 1,000. -District Collector V Vinay Chand said (at 7:47 pm).

An official of LG Polymers issued a statement that there was 1800 tonnes of styrene in the storage tank. He said that due to stagnation and changes in temperature it could have resulted in auto polymerization which could have caused vapourisation. “We are investigating the incident. Right now there is no leak as it has been contained. We will observe the facility for another four hours and give an all clear after a thorough inspection,” he said.

The incident happened at around 3 am at LG Polymers Ltd at Gopalapatnam. People in the nearby colonies were fast asleep when the incident took place. The LG polymers company was making arrangements for reopening the plant from Thursday (May 7), after more than 40 days of closure.

Preventive Measures:

  • Drink more water.
  • Use wet cloth as mask even if you are at home.
  • If your eyes getting irritation wash them thoroughly.
  • If your skin feel itching wash your skin with soap and take cetirizine tab.
  • If you sense of vomiting take domastal tab.
  • Take milk banana and jaggery to neutralize the effect of gas.
  • Styrene is a colourless, or light yellow, flammable liquid primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics and resins – it is used in the manufacture of containers for foodstuffs, packaging, synthetic marble, flooring, disposable tableware and moulded furniture.
  • Breathing air contaminated with styrene vapours can cause irritation of the nose and throat, coughing and wheezing, and create a build-up of fluid in the lungs.
  • Exposure to larger amounts can result in the onset of “styrene sickness”, the signs and symptoms of which include headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, tiredness, dizziness, confusion and clumsy or unsteady motion (known collectively as central nervous system depression).
  • In some cases exposure to styrene can also result in irregular heartbeats and even coma.
  • Several epidemiologic studies suggest there may be an association between styrene exposure and an increased risk of leukemia and lymphoma though the evidence is inconclusive.

In the wake of the situation in Visakhapatnam, PM Narendra Modi Ji had called an emergency disaster meeting of the National Disaster Response Force (NDMA).

A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was pressed into service to evacuate people from the nearby colonies. Fire tenders from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd were trying to reduce the impact of the gas using water. 80 to 90 percent evacuation is completed, NDRF DG told news agency ANI.

Over twenty five years ago, Bhopal was choking on the deadly fumes that had found their way across the city from the Union Carbide Plant. Close to 20,000 people died. And the man the victims blame for the tragedy is Warren Anderson, whose plant was the source of the deadly Methyl Isocyanate gas.

In concluding remark, I wish that not second 25 years will took for justice this time and I would urge to each and every person located in affected area to be calm and have faith in god and local authorities in this “INFINITY WAR” against various situations like pandemic, gas leak, etc. Take suggested preventive measures. And MAY THIS NIGHTMARE OVER SOON!

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