Vizag leak: 13K tonnes of styrene to be shipped from LG Polymer factory to South Korea

Meanwhile, chemicals needed to control the toxicity of the leaked gas were flown into Visakhapatnam from Gujarat by the Indian Air Force.
Visakhapatnam Gas Leak
Visakhapatnam Gas Leak
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Days after leaked styrene vapours killed 12 people in Vizag, about 13,000 tonnes of styrene from the LG Polymers plant is being shipped back to the company's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

Apart from the leaked tank, the company had stored styrene imported from Singapore in another tank inside the plant, and in two tanks at the Visakhapatnam Port.

The Andhra Pradesh government authorities said that they took up the issue with the Ministry of Shipping, and arranged a special container to send the chemical back to Seoul.

"We are shipping about 8,000 tonnes of styrene by a container vessel on Monday and another will carry the remaining 5,000 tonnes in the next couple of days," Visakhapatnam district Collector V Vinay Chand said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force on Monday airlifted 8.3 tonnes of chemicals from Gujarat that could reduce the toxicity of the gas leaked, the Defence Ministry said.

"Two An-32 transport aircraft of IAF were deployed to airlift approximately 1.1 tonnes of Tertiary Butylcatechol and 7.2 tonnes of Polymerization Inhibitors and Green Retarders from Mundra, Gujarat to Vizag in Andhra Pradesh," the ministry said in a statement.

The IAF also facilitated the movement of the two individuals -- Director of Indian Institute of Petroleum from Delhi and a Styrene specialist from Mumbai -- to Vizag as they were required to oversee the operations being undertaken to control the gas leak.

The leftover styrene in the tank inside the plant, from where the vapour leak occurred, had solidified, and the temperature was brought down to 73 degrees Celsius.

There had been a vociferous demand from the people of Venkatapuram and surrounding villages that the plant be completely shutdown as it posed a threat to their lives.

The vapour leak from the plastics manufacturing plant in the wee hours of May 7 caused the death of 12 people, besides leaving over 400 people hospitalised.

On Saturday, irate villagers staged a protest in front of the plant, with bodies of the deceased, demanding that it be closed down.

Meanwhile, officials said that the situation at RR Venkatapuram and surrounding villages was fully under control. Residents have been allowed to return to their homes from Monday evening.


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