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Vizag gas leak: NHRC issues notice to AP, Centre over deaths, sufferings

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on May 08, 2020 Published on May 08, 2020

Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy talking to the victim at a hospital following the gas leak from LG Polymers that took place in the early hours of Thursday in Visakhapatnam.

11 deaths have been reported, and hundreds are falling sick

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the death of 11 persons and hundreds falling sick due to leakage of styrene gas in Vizag district in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.

The leakage of the gas has reportedly affected people within a radius of about 3 kilometres. Many people could be seen lying on roads while some complained of difficulty in breathing and rashes on their bodies.

 

The Commission has observed that though prima-facie, as of now, there are no reports regarding human error or negligence but the fact that so far at least 11 innocent citizens have lost their lives and thousands have fallen sick, is indeed a serious issue of violation of human rights.

Right to life of the victims has been grossly violated. At a time when the human lives across the country are at stake due to spread of Covid-19 virus, and everyone is forced to stay indoors, the gruesome tragedy has come as a bolt from the blue for the people.

Accordingly, the Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter including 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.

 

A notice has also been issued to the Director-General of Police, Andhra Pradesh to inform within four weeks about registration of FIRs in the matter and status of the investigation being conducted.

 

The Commission also considered it appropriate to bring the matter to the notice of the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs and has asked through its Secretary to examine whether the norms laid down under relevant provisions of the law are being implemented at the particular industrial unit and to submit a report to the Commission. Responses from all these authorities are expected within four weeks.

The incident occurred at LG Polymers, a manufacturer of polystyrene and its co-polymers. An evacuation drive has reportedly been handled by the police authorities, and the District Collector is monitoring the situation. The NDRF and SDRF teams were also deployed in the area as mentioned in the news reports.

Published on May 08, 2020
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