Those who were killed due to the gas leak were present at the pharma unit.


Two people were killed and four were hospitalised after gas leaked last night at a pharmaceutical unit in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam.

Those who died worked at the Visakhapatnam unit of the firm Sainor Life Sciences, police said, adding that the situation is now “under control”.

The pharmaceutical unit in the industrial port city’s Parwada area was shut down immediately as a precautionary measure after the leakage of benzimidazole gas was reported at around 11:30 pm, according to officials.

“The situation is under control now. Two persons who died were workers and were present at the leakage site (at the time of the incident). Gas has not spread anywhere else,” senior police officer Uday Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has sought information about the incident, his office said this morning. “The accident is confined to a department in which there is a reactor. There is no need to panic. The district collector has ordered an inquiry into the matter,” read the statement by the Chief Minister’s office.

The latest incident comes nearly two months after 11 people, including two children, were killed and over 1,000 were left sick after gas leaked at a chemical plant –  LG Polymers facility – in Visakhapatnam. 

Toxic styrene gas had escaped from the chemical plant that had been shut for over 40 days due to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Three surrounding villages were evacuated and officials went house-to-house, breaking in to pull out unconscious victims.

The incident was compared by many to the 1984 Bhopal Gas leak, one of the worst industrial disasters in history when gas leaked from a pesticide plant operated by Union Carbide. Around 3,500 people died. Government statistics say at least one lakh people continue to suffer chronic illnesses.

(With inputs from ANI) 

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