One person has died and three others have been injured after inhaling ammonia gas leaking from a pipe at SPY agro industries in Nandyal of Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh. Officials with the Department of Industries told TNM that the leak was limited to a room within the plant.
The deceased has been identified as Srinivasa Rao, the General Manager of the plant. “He had gone into the room to plug the leak from one of the ammonia carrying pipes. Three others with him inhaled the fumes but their conduction is stable,” said Ramakrishna Reddy, Deputy Chief inspector with the Industries Department, Kurnool.
SPY Agro Industries are owned by the family of former Nandyal MP and Jana Sena Party (JSP) leader SPY Reddy. The plant manufactures Extra Neutral Alcohol and co-produces carbon dioxide.
“We are yet to conduct an inquiry to ascertain the facts,” the official added.
The plant was recently in the news on June 15 for receiving a show-cause notice with a stern warning from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board for several safety violations, posing serious environmental and health hazards.
The Pollution Control Board (PCB) team inspecting the plant had found that the control equipment such as the scrubber attached to the dryers was inadequate to control emissions from the plant, reported the Times of India. The neighbouring localities were impacted by the bad odour and groundwater pollution. The company had obtained a Consent for Operations in March 2020 to store fly ash in a closed shed which was to be utilised in brick manufacturing. The PCB team, however, found SPY agro-industries storing the fly ash in an open area adjacent to a boiler, causing air pollution.
A local strongman in Nandyal, SPY Reddy won the MP seat twice for the Congress and contested the 2014 elections on a YSRCP ticket, defeating his nearest rival N M Farooq of the TDP by over one lakh votes.
After winning the election on a YSRCP ticket, SPY Reddy switched loyalty to the TDP in 2014. He was, however, denied a ticket by the TDP in the 2019 state elections. SPY Reddy then quit TDP and joined the Jana Sena Party of actor Pawan Kalyan, but lost the Assembly polls.
In April 2019, his residence was raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), for allegedly defaulting on loans worth Rs 500 crore.