LG Polymers says vapour leak caused accident at Vizag plant

New Delhi: LG Polymers India Ltd on Saturday blamed leaking vapour from a storage tank for the leakage of deadly styrene monomer gas at its Visakhapatnam plant that killed at least 11 people and forced the evacuation of thousands.

Status quo at the plant was restored on Saturday morning, the company said in a statement.

The gas leakage from the plant was reported on Thursday morning after the company tried to restart operations following the partial easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

“Our initial investigations suggest that the cause of the incident is prima facie by the leaking vapor from the Styrene Monomer (SM) storage tank near the GPPS (General Purpose Poly Styrene) factory on Thursday, May 7,” the statement said.

The unit of South Korean chemical giant LG Chem said it is committed to working closely with the concerned authorities to investigate the cause of the incident, prevent recurrence in future and secure the foundation for care and treatment.

“While focusing on stabilizing the plant, we assure you that we are doing our best to extend all the possible support to ensure people and their families who have been affected by this incident are taken care of.

“Our teams are working day and night with the government to assess the impact of the damage caused and create concrete measures to deliver an effective care package that can be implemented immediately,” it said.

The firm said a special task force has been set up to help victims and families to resolve any issues and provide every assistance to the bereaved families.

“All families will be contacted shortly. This team has the responsibility to provide every support for the deceased, medical supplies and household goods, and emotional management for psychological stability to all injured and victims,” the statement said.

“We will also actively develop and promote mid-to-long term support programs that can contribute to the local communities,” it added.

LG Polymers India also expressed deepest condolences to everyone who has been affected and hurt by this incident.

“We would also like to sincerely thank every member of the authorities, the police and government officials who have worked very hard to rescue and recover the victims,” it said. “We assure everyone we will do our best to resolve the situation and prevent any incident in the future.”