UN chief wants full investigation into Visakhapatnam gas leak

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants a full investigation into the gas leak at a chemical plant in Vishakapatnam that has killed at least 11 people, his Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday.

“These kinds of incidents need to be fully investigated by the local authorities,” Dujarric said at his daily briefing.

He said that Guterres offers “our condolences to the victims, and hope for a quick recovery to those who have been impacted.”

Styrene in gas form leaked from the LG Polymers plant at RR Venkatapuram apparently due to the failure of the safety system on Thursday morning.

While 11 died, 340 people have been hospitalised, 15 of them in a critical condition, according to Andhra Pradesh officials.

The incident was reminiscent of the 1984 Bhopal incident in which methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal.

While about 3,800 people died in the Bhopal tragedy, the toll in today’s Vishakapatnam incident was far less because of timely action by authorities and the fact that styrene in gas form is heavier and travels over a smaller area.

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