The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary calling for a detailed report on the Vizag gas leak incident. According to reports, the NHRC has asked for the details of the status of the rescue operation, the medical treatment provided to the people fallen sick and relief and rehabilitation provided by the state authorities to the affected families.
Along with it, the Commission has also issued a notice to the Andhra Pradesh Director-General of Police to inform within four weeks about the registration of FIRs and the status of the investigation that is being conducted in the incident. Further, it has also brought the incident to the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs' notice and has asked them to examine whether the norms laid down under relevant provisions of the law are being implemented at the particular industrial unit.
This comes after the NHRC took a suo-moto cognizance over the matter and observed that though prima-facie, as of now, there are no reports regarding human error or negligence.
At least eight people, including one child, have died while over 200 people were hospitalised after gas leakage from LG Polymers chemical plant in RR Venkatapuram village, Visakhapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh. District Collector V Vinay Chand said two people were killed due to the Styrene gas leak, while some are in a critical condition. Close to 70 people have been admitted to the King George Hospital after treatment, he said. The leak from the factory was suspected to have started in the early hours of Thursday between 3 am and 4 am.
Residents of Imhachalam, Gopalapatnam, Vepagunta have been evacuated as National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have reached the spot. While the officials are still attempting to break open homes to rescue people, dozens of persons are said to be affected by the leak and are complaining of breathing difficulties and burning sensation in their eyes. According to RK Meena, Police Commissioner, Vishakapatnam, the impact of the gas leak is said to be around 1-1.5 km but the smell of the styrene gas was felt 2.5km away.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired a meeting of the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) at 11 AM. The casualty toll is feared to rise.