As the Vizag gas leak crisis unravels, one can’t help but remember the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which left thousands dead

Advertisement
As the Vizag gas leak crisis unravels, one can’t help but remember the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which left thousands dead
Vizag gas leak at LG Polymers IANS

  • Amid the ongoing Coronavirus chaos, a major gas leak in Visakhapatnam-based company LG Polymers has cost 13 lives so far and hundreds have been injured.
  • The event has starked panic reminiscent of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
  • The gas tragedy in Bhopal left more than 500,000 people exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, while the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) estimates that around 1,000 people have been affected by the current crisis.
Amid the ongoing Coronavirus chaos, a major gas leak in Visakhapatnam-based company LG Polymers has cost 13 lives so far and hundreds have been injured. It’s not surprising that the event has starked panic reminiscent of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, which happened in 1984. The impact was such that the entire neighbourhood — up to a five-kilometre radius — is currently being evacuated.

As the Vizag gas leak crisis unravels, one can’t help but remember the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which left thousands dead
The impact was such that the entire neighbourhood — up to a five-kilometre radius — is currently being evacuated.

The Municipal Corporation has asked the residents to use wet masks or cloth to cover their mouth and nose to restrain the poisonous Styrene or PVC gas. According to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), PVC gas (or Styrene) — which is used to make plastic — leaked from the plant. The exposure to the gas results in skin irritation, itchy eyes, chest congestion, vomiting and even death.

Advertisement
Where the gas tragedy in Bhopal left more than 500,000 people exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) estimates that around 1,000 people have been affected by the current crisis.

According to the Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar Meena, Styrene is "non-poisonous" and is only fatal when exposed to longer duration. MIC, on the other hand, is highly toxic.

MetricBhopal Gas TragedyVisakhapatnam gas leak
Gas leak happened December 3, 1984May 6, 2020
ChemicalMethyl Isocyanate (MIC) gasStyrene gas
Chemical companyUS-based Union CarbideSouth Korean LG Polymers
Total Deaths3,78713 (so far)
Exposed to the gasMore than 500,000More than 1,000

As per reports, as many as 3,787 people were reported dead in Bhopal. However, independent studies estimate that at least 8,000 died within the span of two weeks and eventually 8,000 more were reported dead due to the gas-related diseases.
Advertisement


The government and private hospitals in Visakhapatnam are admitting hundreds of patients who were exposed to the gas. They have symptoms like breathlessness, headaches and frequent vomiting.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu has demanded that a probe be conducted to determine who is accountable. An FIR has been filed against LG Chemicals, the parent company of LG Polymers, to investigate the issue. "The plant was strictly following all protocols. Investigation underway. Forensic teams are also being sent to the spot," Andhra Pradesh DGP Damodar Goutam told ANI.

See also:
Advertisement
Gas leak in Andhra Pradesh pushes thousands into hospitals with 8 dead and 20 in critical condition as the government tries to figure out what went wrong

All you need to know about LG Polymers – the company behind the deadly gas leak in Visakhapatnam

In pics: National Disaster Response Force rescuing victims of gas leak at the LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam
{{}}