11 confirmed dead and hundreds more have been hospitalized after fatal Styrene gas leak happened in the southern India early Thursday morning (local time), said a CNN report.
The chemical plant is a company owned by Korean’s LG Chem is operating in the outskirts of the city of Visakhapatnam
Mekapati Goutham Reddy, minister for Industries, said most of the dead were driving or standing on terraces outside their homes when they lost consciousness and fell where they stood, while others slipped into unconsciousness while they were sleeping.
At least 3,000 people live near the plant.
It is estimated that almost 1,000 people were directly exposed to the gas and about 20-25 people are in critical but stable condition, said Kamal Kishore from the National Disaster Management Authority.
An LG Chem communications official told CNN that the plant’s alarm only detects if raw Styrene is leaked in liquid form, and “something in there reacted,” which meant it “leaked in vapor form.”
Asked why it had turned into vapor, the official added: “That is something we need to investigate.”
In a statement to CNN, LG Chem said it was taking measures to protect residents affected by the leak.
“(We) are currently assessing local town residents’ damage situation and are taking maximum necessary measures for the protection of residents and employees together with related organizations,” said the statement.
“The factory’s gas leak is currently under control. Leaked gas can cause vomiting and dizziness from inhaling. (We) are seeking all measures so that related treatment can be done quickly.” it added.