Pollution

Visakhapatnam pharmaceuticals ‘unit’ leaks gas; 2 dead, 4 injured

The city unit of Sainor Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, in Parwada area, reported a leak of benzimidazole gas at 11.30 pm

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Tuesday 30 June 2020
The Visakhapatnam district administration constituted a four-member committee to inquire into the benzimidazole gas leak. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Two people were killed and four hospitalised after a gas leak at a pharmaceuticals firm in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam June 29, 2020.

The Visakhapatnam ‘unit’ of Sainor Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, in the city’s Parwada area, reported a leak of benzimidazole gas at 11.30 pm. The situation was bought under control, a police official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired about the incident, reported ANI. The pharma unit was shut immediately after the leak, the chief minister’s office said in a statement.

“The accident was confined to a department where there was a reactor. The district collector has ordered an inquiry into the matter,” the statement said.

The district administration constituted a four-member committee to inquire into the gas leak, reported the Times Of India daily.

The incident comes nearly two months after a previous gas leak at a chemical factory in Visakhapatnam on May 7. The factory, owned by LG Polymers Ltd, exposed workers and several villages near the factory to styrene gas, resulting in the deaths of 11 people and hospitalising more than a thousand.

The plant was shut due to the nationwide lockdown in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and had recently restarted operations.

A string of other accidents in factories occurred as well.

In the evening of the same day as the styrene gas leak, two boilers at NLC India Ltd’s thermal power station at Tamil Nadu’s Neyveli exploded, injuring eight people.

On May 6, there was a gas leak at a paper mill in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh, leading to the hospitalisation of seven workers. Two accidents in chemical factories in Gujarat — one in Dahej and the other in Ankleshwar — occurred on June 3 and June 11 respectively.

An explosion at a pesticide factory owned by Yashashvi Rasayan Pvt Ltd left eight dead and more than 50 workers injured. Around 4,800 people in two villages were evacuated. In Ankleshwar, one person died and four others were injured in a blast at a chemical factory in Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC)’s chemical estate.

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