“The most serious cases have been shifted to King George Hospital. , The South Korean parent company, LG Chem, said in its May 2019 affidavit, a part of an application for environment clearance, that the company did not have a legitimate environmental clearance issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), after receiving an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), substantiating the produced quantity and for continuing operations. The article provides a detailed perspective on both these concepts and then argues whether strict or absolute liability should be imposed on the leak of styrene gas. It had taken over the erstwhile Hindustan Polymers in 1997. Andhra Pradesh Industries minister M.G. There are certain exceptions to this law, which include the plaintiff’s fault, the act of God, acts of the third party, consent of the plaintiff, common benefit, and statutory authority. Affected people being taken to a hospital for treatment after a major chemical gas leakage at LG Polymers industry in RR Venkatapuram village, Visakhapatnam, Thursday, May 07, 2020. Visakhapatnam gas leak: Chilling scenes bring back memories of Bhopal gas tragedy PTI Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India May 07, 2020, 01.29 PM(IST) Affected people being taken to a hospital for treatment after a major chemical gas leakage at LG Polymers industry in RR Venkatapuram village, Visakhapatnam, Thursday, May 07, 2020. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urged party leaders in the area to assist the affected people. The Andhra Pradesh government, in response, announced an ex gratia of ₹1 cr each for kin of the deceased as well as funds for the injured, allocating a budget of ₹30 crores for the compensation of all those affected. International Agency for Research on Cancer, India’s proposed overhaul of environment clearance rules could dilute existing regulations, You may republish Mongabay content in your publication at no cost. Though Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister Y.S. The project had applied for environment clearance from the MoEFCC under the category of projects running in violation of the EIA notification. Pungent air, deaths and chaos — Visakhapatnam gas leak in pictures. We issued a public advisory asking people not to consume water from open surfaces and foods/vegetables that were exposed to the gas,” Rakesh Kumar, director of CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur told Mongabay-India. Explained: What is a technical recession? We are doing everything possible.” Residents complained that the gas leakage caused a burning sensation in the eyes extreme difficulty in breathing.  By the next day, the death toll had risen to thirteen. However, Environment Secretary C. K. Mishra told the AP that the plant would have no requirement of clearance in 2006, but a clearance was imperative for any expansion or production change thereafter. Women and children were seen lying on roads struggling to breathe, reminiscent of the infamous Bhopal gas tragedy when a leak from the Union Carbide plant left around 3,500 dead and many maimed. , Late at night on 7 May, police ordered the evacuation of people in a 2 km (1.2 mi) radius of the leak. In this case, Rylands employed some contractors to build a reservoir, where Rylands had no active role in its construction.  It is believed that a computer glitch in the factory's cooling system allowed temperatures in the storage tanks to exceed safe levels, causing the styrene to vaporize. A team of veterinary doctors has reached the villages to assess the situation. It only had consent for establishment and consent for operation from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired about the gas leak incident and directed the district officials to take every possible step to save lives and bring the situation under control. There was no second Gas Leak in Vizag", "Experts detect more gas leak risks at LG Polymer factory in Vizag", "Vizag gas leak Updates: Andhra govt to airlift 500 kgs of PTBC from Daman to neutralise chemical; special NDRF team to fly in from Pune", "Gujarat to airlift PTBC chemical for Vizag gas leak crisis", "LG Polymers in Vizag gets 'Styrene inhibitor' to boost safety after gas leak", "Visakhapatnam gas leak:LG Chem dispatches technical team from Seoul for investigation, rehabilitation works", "Visakhapatnam Gas Leak Updates: Day after tragedy, gas fumes begin leaking again", "Technical glitch in refrigeration unit caused Visakhapatnam gas leak: Official", "Vizag gas leak: What is styrene and how does it affect the body? Absolute Liability can also have criminal elements in cases where the accused is found guilty of intention to cause a dangerous act. With the Ministry of Shipping's help, the state government arranged two vessels to carry the load, split into portions of 8,000 MT and 5,000 MT, to the company's headquarter in Seoul. , On 8 May, the bench ordered LG Polymers India to deposit an amount of ₹50 crore (US$7.0 million) as an initial amount with the District magistrate of Vishakapatnam to mitigate the damages caused due to the incident. The leak of Styrene is as hazardous to people and the environment, just like Methyl Isocynite in Bhopal’s case. In the wee hours on May 7, he was awoken by desperate honking of vehicles and shouts of baffled citizens in his colony. The factory manufactures general-purpose polystyrene and high impact polystyrene, expandable polystyrene, and engineering plastics compounds. Also, chemical industries should only be allowed to open in industrial areas,” she said. While acute symptoms were instantly shown by the exposed population, the long term effects of the exposure are yet to be identified. The prime minister has also called for a meeting with NDMA at 11 am to discuss the situation in the city. The plant stored 2,000 metric tons (1,968 long tons; 2,205 short tons) of styrene in tanks, which were left unattended. The concept of strict liability and absolute liability comes in the equation because they both deal with the escape of a dangerous substance. We have already seen 30-40 accidents in the past few years where people have lost their lives or suffered injuries. The Times of India News App for Latest India News, Copyright Â© 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. The long stagnancy of next six weeks made way for some chemical changes inside the storages causing auto-polymerisation. Reddy instructed teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to provide necessary assistance to the victims. Photograph:(  Five villages (R. R. Venkatapuram, Padmapuram, BC Colony, Gopalapatnam, and Kamparapalem) were the most affected areas. After the incident, several public health experts drew a comparison with the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. “The short term exposures have short term effects but the Andhra Medical College neurology department has now reported that many exposed population still after one week of the incident complain about guiltiness, which hints at neurological impact,” Raghunanda Rao, a veteran oncologist and founder of Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Vizag, told Mongabay-India. The tragedy came on a day when Visakhapatnam reported seven more Covid-19 positive cases. The earlier principle of strict liability soon became outdated in view of the rapid technological changes taking place. It was scheduled to be considered by an expert panel of the MoEFCC on May 18-19, 2020. There is no need to panic. But this is not the complete picture. Venkatapuram village, six kilometres away from the Visakhapatnam International Airport and around 10 kms away from the city’s main railway station. The NGT has constituted a special committee to inquire in the matter in addition to imposing a penalty of Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) on LG Polymers. The latest proposed overhaul of the draft EIA notification 2020 which would replace EIA 2006 notification has been under fire for proposing a mechanism to legitimise projects starting construction without a valid clearance. , The fumes spread over a radius of 3km (1.86 mi). For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App.  In 1978, it was merged with McDowell Holdings, a subsidiary of United Breweries Group.  The malfunctioning of the tank's refrigerating unit led to an increase in temperature, causing the liquid chemical, suspected to be styrene, to evaporate.  Hundreds of people were rushed to hospitals following widespread breathing difficulties and sensations of burning eyes. The long term impact cannot be understood from a short term study.”. First, it is absolutely clear that the industry was a profit-making venture, which assumes importance in absolute liability cases. Preliminary investigations concluded that the accident was likely the result of insufficient maintenance of units storing the styrene monomer, improper storage, and operation errors. Comparing it to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, we find plenty of similarities. There was a pungent smell of gas and some of the residents were experiencing dizziness. Experts are also skeptical, as the plant operated for years without any clearance. The article provides a detailed perspective on both these concepts and then argues whether strict or absolute liability should be imposed on the leak of styrene gas. It also mandates that such enterprises must have the capital to discover and guard against any such hazards. , On 13 May 2020, the LG Chemicals informed media that an eight-member technical team, comprising experts from its Seoul headquarters' departments of production, environment, and safety were sent to investigate the incident and to rehabilitate the victims. The gas leak took place at LG Polymers chemical plant. However, as most of the residents were fast asleep and cops had to break open doors to shift people some of whom had already become unconscious. , The same day as the incident, the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) gave notice to the Andhra Pradesh Government and the central government that it considered the incident a gross violation of India's constitutional right to life. Indian govt approves Rs 4,381 crore to 6 states as disaster relief, Government announced regulations on OTT platforms and social media news next, Wipro’s founder chairman Azim Premji emerges as the most generous Indian in FY20, Sanjita Mohapatra of Odisha secures the 10th rank in UPSC, Ratha Jatra- The Festival that the entire universe celebrates, Ganesh Chaturthi: Celebrating the God of wisdom, Engineer’s Day: Marking the birth anniversary of M. Visvesvaraya, 10 scientists who never won a Nobel Prize, in spite of their huge contributions, Madhya Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company, the first to adopt e-office system, 12 Inspirational Quotes by Legendary Bollywood Actor Irrfan Khan, Read, write and express this International Literacy Day, Export Preparedness Index 2020 – Gujarat bags top position. Pakistan opens fire in multiple positions along LoC; Indian Army hits back, Australian PM Scott Morrison sends Diwali message amid COVID-19 pandemic, These three Indian companies are ready to produce Covid-19 vaccine, Watch: Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V arrives in India. The gas leak happened at the LG Polymer plant at Gopalapatnam on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam. IANS Many people fell unconscious during their sleep, a villager said.
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