178 women workers fall ill after gas leak in Andhra's Visakhapatnam
The gas leak has been reported at a factory of Porus Private Limited, the same company involved in a fire accident from a gas leak in April.
At least 178 women working at a chemical plant in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam fell sick after a gas leak, state's industrial minister Gudivada Amarnath said on Friday. The gas leak occurred at a factory in Atchutapuram in Visakhapatnam, which also hubs Porus Laboratories Pvt Ltd, a veterinary drugs company.
Anakapalle SP Gautami Sali said “at present all workers' health is stable (and) no casualties (have been) reported”. The source of the gas leak is not yet confirmed and it is being investigated by Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board and police officials.
It was initially speculated that the gas could have been leaked from the Porus Laboratories Pvt Ltd. The forensic teams have arrived at the spot and are identifying the source of gas leak.
The incident occurred at 12:30 pm today. The staff present on the campus, which also hubs two apparel company factories apart from Porus Pvt Ltd, complained of a vomiting sensation. Most of those who fell ill belonged to the Brandix factory located in the campus.
Those affected were shifted to two private hospitals in Acchutapuram and NTR hospital in Anakapalle.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Reddy has instructed officials to provide good treatment to those who are ill. He also ordered the local minister to visit the scene. The CM said the incident would be investigated and an action will be taken to prevent such incidents.
Porus Laboratories was also the site of an explosion in April in which six people died - they were burned to death - and 15 were injured. The families of the dead were to get compensation from both state and factory management - ₹25 lakh each. The injured were to get between ₹2 lakh and ₹5 lakh, depending on the wounds, news agency PTI said.
Preliminary inquiries by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board suggested a high exothermic reaction in an uncontrolled reaction temperature behind the explosion. The PCB had ordered immediate closure of the bulk drug manufacturing unit and directed authorities to disconnect power supply to the factory for 'non-compliance of consent conditions and further causing pollution in the surrounding areas' and to safeguard public health and environment.
Hyderabad-based Porus Laboratories - which is into manufacturing of pharmaceutical intermediates and specialty chemicals - has five units in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.