Unconscious people, animals turning grey: Scenes outside Vizag plant

Updated on May 07, 2020 07:11 PM IST

Not just human beings, hundreds of cattle, poultry birds, dogs and cats were lying motionless on the roads following white fumes of styrene that engulfed the villages in a radius of about 3 km from the chemical plant.

An unconscious woman affected by styrene vapour leak from a polymer plant, being carried to a hospital for treatment, in Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020.(PTI)
An unconscious woman affected by styrene vapour leak from a polymer plant, being carried to a hospital for treatment, in Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020.(PTI)
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad | BySrinivasa Rao Apparasu | Edited by Ashutosh Tripathi

Parents running for help carrying unconscious children in their arms, women collapsing on the pavements, cops feeling breathlessness were just some of the scenes at the Pendurthy road and NAD junction in Visakhapatnam, following the leakage of poisonous gas styrene from a storage tank at LG Polymers India Private Ltd at R R Venkatapuram village on Thursday morning.

And not just human beings, hundreds of cattle, poultry birds, dogs and cats were lying motionless on the roads following white fumes of styrene that engulfed the villages in a radius of about 3 km from the chemical plant.

A video of a pet dog writhing in pain on the road even as its owner was pouring water over it went viral on social media. Hundreds of chickens in poultry farms in the surrounding villages were also found dead with their bodies turning a darker shade of grey under the effect of gas.

Such was the impact of the gas that leaves on trees along the road near the chemical plant wilted turning reddish brown and pale yellow.

The incident has claimed 11 lives and more than 300 have been hospitalised. It evoked memories of the gas leaked from a pesticide plant in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal in 1984. That incident, counted among one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, had killed 3,500 people.

“Today’s incident might not be of such a magnitude as that of the Bhopal tragedy. But it is certainly a major disaster in Visakhapatnam after the 1997 explosion of a cylinder at Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited in which 22 people were killed,” said Rajesh Mallu, a senior journalist from the port city.

People were running for their own lives in such a hurry that they did not even bother to check about their old beloved kin. A five-year-old girl, Sucharita, was found crying on the road side near Chintala Agraharam village, where the local farmers rescued and consoled her.

Apparently, Sucharita’s parents, who were feeling suffocating due to the impact of gas, failed to carry her along with them as they were running for a safer location. A local journalist finally managed to locate her father Raju at another village about two km away and hand over the child to him.

“We were running in a semi-conscious state to find a safer place and we didn’t even realise that our daughter is not with us. I am glad my daughter is fine and back with us”, Raju said.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, October 01, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals