May 10, 2020

Vizag Gas leak and after: The misery continues for some

Vizag Gas leak and after: The misery continues for some

The styrene vapour leak from the LG Polymers plant at nearby R R Venakatapuram village killed his father and left five-year old Manideep blinded. His mother too fell sick due to the vapour effect and was hospitalised.

The family’s plight was such that they did not know about Govinda Raju’s death till relatives saw his picture in the media and came rushing to the hospital on Friday. Govinda Raju, incidentally, worked as a daily wager in the LG plant. But Manideep could not even take a look at his deceased father as he could not open his eyes.


On Saturday, he was taken to the LV Prasad Eye Institute, where specialists attended on him and Manideep could finally open his eyes for a few moments. “He also suffered a wound on his leg, and though he could finally open his eyes, he was unable to walk. We somehow took him out and showed him his father’s body before the final rites were completed,” Manideep’s aunt, who was tending to him in the hospital, said.

The child’s mother is now recovering in hospital from the breathlessness she suffered due to the vapour leak on Thursday. Another heart-rending tale is that of nine-year-old N Grishma’s family. She died in the mishap even as her parents lay sick on hospital beds.

Read: Vizag gas leak: What are the NDMA guidelines for gas leakages?

“Grishma died on Thursday itself but we could not break the news to her mother till today. After post-mortem, the body was handed over to us this morning and it was then that we finally told her about the tragedy, a wailing uncle said. Grishma’s brother too suffered the effects of the vapour, but recovered quickly and was sent to his relative’s house.

Grishma’s mother Lakshmi was inconsolable but she accompanied her daughter’s body to their village Venkatapuram on Saturday. She jumped over the LG plant gate and made her way to the Director General of Police D G Sawang as he was inspecting the unit and fell at his feet, pleading that the LG management be brought to book immediately. With folded hands, she pleaded that the plant be shut down immediately.

Also Read: 11 killed in gas leak from LG chemical plant in Vizag kills 11; over 350 hospitalised

Police tried to console her, but she came out of the factory and poured out her grief. The King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam swarmed with grieving relatives as members of many families were bed-ridden and provided treatment for ailments like shallow breathing, nausea, sore eyes and gastrointestinal problems.

Over 200 people were still undergoing treatment in the KGH, but their condition was said to be stable.

Also Read: Vizag Gas Leak: From ‘Hindustan Polymers’ to LG Chem – three ownerships in six decades

Visakhapatnam district in-charge Minister K Kanna Babu, who visited the hospital and spoke to some of the victims, said all the patients were fast recovering. “As a precautionary measure, we are not allowing the people to return to their villages. They are being provided safe shelter in relief camps in the city,” Kanna Babu said.

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