THERE is no second leakage in Visakhapatnam, and the experts on ground are working to ensure complete plugging of the breach, NDRF chief S N Pradhan said on Friday. Pradhan also asserted that the fumes that were seen coming out was a “technical” issue and there was no need to panic
“There are some rumours and media reports about a second leakage. I categorically clarify that it is not true,” the NDRF Director General said in a video message.
Earlier, the Union Home Ministry had also clarified that a “minuscule technical leak” had occurred at the chemical factory in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam but it was controlled and the process of neutralisation was on.
On Thursday, a styrene gas leak from LG Polymers in R R Venkatapuram area of Gopalapatnam in Visakhapatnam killed 11 people, and impacted over 1000 others who inhaled the toxic substance.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) are on the ground to support the local administration, the ministry said.
The NDRF DG further said, “it has nothing to do with leakage as such and hence there is no reason to believe that there is a second leakage.”
He said experts are doing the technical work and “I am sure during the course of the day they will be able to update us about the success of the complete plugging process.”
The chemicals required afresh to neutralise the leakage has been sent from Daman and it is in enough quantity, he said.
“Over 60 pc of styrene vapour leak from plant polymerised”: OVER 60 per cent of the styrene vapour that leaked from a tank in LG Polymers near Visakhapatnam on Thursday, killing at least 11 people, has polymerised so far and all chemical tanks in the plant are safe, District Collector V Vinay Chand said on Friday.
In a report submitted to Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy during a video conference, the Collector said it might take 18-24 hours for the remaining vapour to polymerise, a process to bring down the temperature below 20 degree Celcius where styrene remains in its original liquid form, and turn safe.
“We have taken all measures to plug the leak completely and experts are closely monitoring the situation. The situation is now fully under control,” the Collector added.
NGT slaps interim penalty of Rs 50 cr on LG Polymers India, issues notices to Centre: THE National Green Tribunal slapped an interim penalty of Rs 50 crore on LG Polymers India and sought response from the Centre and others on Friday in the gas leak incident in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, saying “there appears to be a failure to comply with the said Rules and other statutory provisions”.
A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, set up a 5-member Committee to probe Thursday’s gas leak incident in the chemical factory, in which 11 people were killed and 1,000 exposed, and submit a report before May 18.
“Having regard to the prima facie material regarding the extent of damage to life, public health and environment, we direct LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd to forthwith deposit an initial amount of Rs 50 crore, with the District Magistrate, Vishakhapatnam, which will abide by further orders of this tribunal. The amount is being fixed having regard to the financial worth of the company and the extent of the damage caused,” the bench said.
The NGT issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, L G Polymers India, Andhra Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, Central Pollution Control Board, Vishakhapatnam District Magistrate and sought their response before May 18, the next date of hearing.
The committee comprises former AP High Court judge Justice B Seshasayana Reddy; V Rama Chandra Murthy, Former Vice Chancellor, Andhra University, Vizag; Professor Pulipati King, Head of Chemical Engineering Department, Andhra University; CPCB Member Secretary, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology Director, and head of NEERI in Vizag.
The NGT directed Vishakhapatnam DM and regional office of State Pollution Control Board to provide logistic support to the committee to enable their fact-finding and reporting.
The committee may visit and inspect the site at the earliest and give its report before May 18 by email and the site visit may be initially conducted by members available locally in consideration with outside members online, the NGT said.