Gas valve malfunction triggered leak of toxic gas

Gas valve malfunction triggered leak of toxic gas

The chemical leak from a polymer plant near Visakhapatnam, which left at least eight people dead and many others suffering, was triggered by malfunctioning of the valve.

While officials are looking into the exact reasons behind the leak, preliminary investigations suggest that “the valve controls for the gas were not handled properly and they burst, causing the leak.”

A senior official looking into the gas leak said probe is on to ascertain how the incident happened.

The leak of styrene, a chemical used to make synthetic rubber and resins, among others, occurred in the wee hours of Thursday. Unconfirmed reports suggested that the leak happened around the time the new workmen shift was working at 2.30 am. Local villagers in the areas surrounding the factory say they did not hear any siren from the factory.

Police meanwhile said the leak has been contained and the situation is under control, even as nearly 250 people undergo treatment in hospitals, with 20 of them on ventilator support.

The dead included a child while scores of policemen who rushed to evacuate affected persons also were impacted. Two of the victims died after they fell into a borewell while fleeing their affected village.

Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy held a high-level review meeting on the situation and ordered a probe into the matter.

As many as eight people were killed in the styrene gas leak incident. In all, over 800 persons were evacuated from RR Venkatapuram following the gas leak and most of them only needed first aid.