The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday said the situation was “normal” in RR Venkatapuram village, where a styrene vapour leak from the LG Polymers plant claimed 12 lives and left over 300 people hospitalized with various ailments.
Director General of Police D Gautam Sawang and Special Chief Secretary (Industries) Karikal Valaven inspected the plant and spoke to the LG management and later told reporters that “everything is normal and there is no need to panic.”
Temperature at the styrene storage tank, where the vapour leak occurred, has come down, as also the PPM (ambient air quality) level. “Definitely the air is also fresh and there is nothing to worry about. In the coming days, life will come back to normalcy,” the DGP said.
“Just to be on the safe side, as per protocol, people are being asked to stay away for 48 hours. That period will end tomorrow. Scientists and experts from different parts of the country, including New Delhi, are coming here. They will review the situation and give final clearance,” he added.
Valaven said temperature at the plant has come down, as well as the PPM level. “Experts from the Petroleum University, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology and others are coming here. After they inspect, we will take further required steps,” the Special Chief Secretary said.
Meanwhile, the LG management too issued a statement saying, “We are happy to confirm that the status-quo at the plant is brought under control this morning.” It 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 (the affected) 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 company statement said.
The company teams were working with the government to assess the impact of the damage caused and create concrete measures to deliver an effective care package that could be implemented immediately. The company assured that it would also “actively develop and promote mid-to-long term support programmes” that could contribute to the local communities.
As the demand for closure of the plant became vociferous on Saturday, the LG management sought to assuage the feelings promising to “do our best” to resolve the situation and prevent any incident in the future.