Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on the gas leak at the LG Polymers factory in Visakhapatnam on Thursday, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu urged the Andhra Pradesh government to set up an inquiry committee. Terming it was a "very unfortunate" incident, he contended that the industry had been restarted without taking requisite precautions. Maintaining that he did not want to politicise the issue, Naidu stressed the need for scientifically analyzing the short-term, mid-term, and long-term impact of the gas leak and protecting the lives of people.
Chandrababu Naidu remarked, "It is a very unfortunate incident. After lockdown, they started opening the industry without taking any precautions. At the same time, there are 11 deaths as of now and so many people have been admitted to the hospital. What is the impact on public health? Thousands of people are involved and have been admitted to the hospital. What is the short-term, mid-term, and long-term impact on health issues? We have to scientifically analyze this. There is a need now to constitute a committee to establish the impact and at the same time, how to protect the citizens. I don't want to comment politically now. First of all, we have to rescue them."
The TDP chief added, "The industry has to be shifted... Second issue is that they are all worried about their health now. What is going to happen? There are some studies, there are some speculations. All these things have to be established scientifically. Then only, we can talk about other things. Right away, you have to constitute an inquiry committee, where they will go through the lapses and also impact. All things have to be analyzed scientifically and then, we can proceed further. And then, action can be taken."
11 persons died and more than a thousand others were exposed to the gas leak that commenced at about 2.30 am on Thursday. The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) tried to subside the effect by blowing water and people were asked to wear masks after wetting them in water. According to the NDRF Director-General SN Pradhan, the leakage from the factory was minimal. In a statement, LG Polymers stated that it was investigating the extent of the damage and the exact cause of the leak and deaths.
Meanwhile, AP CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met the victims of the gas leak at the King George government hospital in Visakhapatnam and assured them all possible help. Thereafter, the state government announced a compensation of Rs.1 crore for the kin of the deceased, Rs.10 lakh for the seriously injured, Rs.1 lakh for the hospitalized, Rs.25,000 for those who received first aid and Rs.10,000 each for those affected in 5 villages. Ashwani Kumar, the Secretary to Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani revealed that 500 kg of Para-tertiary butyl catechol (PTBC) chemical shall be airlifted from Daman to Andhra Pradesh for neutralising the gas leakage.