Visakhapatnam, July 08, 2020: Twelve people incuding the CEO, two directors and other staff of LG Polymers have been arrested by police in crackdown over the Vizag gas leak incident.
The arrested people include LG Polymers MD and technical director, both of whom are foreign nationals.
At least 14 people were killed after hazardous styrene gas leaked from LG Polymers plant in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam on the morning of May 7, 2020.
Earlier on Monday, a high-level committee constituted by the Andhra Pradesh government for LG Polymers gas leak submitted its report saying it found multiple inadequacies at a South Korean company’s plant. The 4,000 page report was submitted to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Sources privy to report said the high-power committee found that "the accident occurred due to uncontrolled styrene vapour release from the M6 tank, qualifies as a major accident as per the definition under MSIHC rules".
The committee established that an uncontrolled styrene vapor was released from the N6 tank of LG polymers on May 7.
The report further added, "The temperature in the tank rose substantially. The rise in the temperature caused the styrene liquid to eventually vaporise and increase the pressure; it was a tank with small vents."
It also found the poor design of the tank, inadequate refrigeration and faulty cooling system, absence of circulation and mixing systems, inadequate measures and parameters and poor safety protocol led to the disaster causing loss of lives.
Poor safety awareness, inadequate risk assessment response, poor process safety management system and slackness of management were also cited during the investigation.
The committee found that employees were not aware about the chemical properties of styrene, especially during storage conditions.
Further, the high-power committee found that the emergency alarm system was not used at the plant after the leak "despite there being a total of 36 activation points, including one at the factory gate. Using the alarm could have alerted the people in the vicinity".