How Vizag styrene gas leak unfolded around 3 am: Timeline of the tragedy
According to news agency ANI, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief SN Pradhan said about 1,000 to 1,500 people had been evacuated by the authorities and more than 800 taken to hospital.Updated: May 07, 2020 18:19 IST
At least 11 people have died so far in the styrene gas leak at a polymer plant in Visakhapatnam early Thursday. The leak also forced authorities to evacuate about 250 families around a 3-km radius of the factory.
Here is a timeline of the tragedy that unfolded in the morning.
Around 3 am: Styrene gas leaks from one of the two storage tanks of the capacity of 2,000 metric tonnes at LG Polymers (India) Private Limited
3.30 am: Visakhapatnam police control room receives a call from a resident of R R Venkatapuram village about foul pungent smell spreading over the area, suffocating people.
3.45 am: A team of police, along with a fire tenders and an ambulance rush to Venkatapuram, about 3 km from Visakhapatnam airport.
4 am: Cops cannot enter the village due to foul smell and alert higher officials.
4.30 am: People start coming out of their houses and rushing towards safer places like Meghadrigadda. Some of them collapse on roads. Police summon more ambulances and shift them to nearby hospitals and some to King George Hospital.
5 am: Senior police officials rush to Venkatapuram. Police go around the area in vehicles blaring sirens alerting the people to come out and move to safer places. Police use several vehicles to shift people to Simhachalam, Meghadrigadda areas. NDRF team reaches accident site.
5.30 am: Gas leakage arrested by the company staff and situation eases to some extent
6 am: District Collector Vinay Chand and senior officials of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation alert the chief minister’s camp office in Tadepalli in Amaravati and apprise the officials of the situation
6.30 am: People continue to come out of their houses and are rushed to hospitals. Local industry department alert state industries minister M Gautam Reddy.
8 am: Additional police forces rush to the area along with more ambulances to shift the affected people to various hospitals
10 am: All residents of Venkatapuram and four other surrounding villages evacuated completely
10.15 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls up Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy to enquire about the Visakhapatnam gas leakage mishap
10.30 am: Jagan apprises Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan of the situation.
11.30 am: Jagan leaves for Visakhapatnam by helicopter.
12.45 pm: Jagan reaches Vizag, visits King George Hospital and calls on victims
1.30 pm: Chief minister holds official review meeting
2.30 pm: Addresses press conference where he announces ex gratia to victims’ kin and also constitutes a committee to probe the gas leak incident