While the official death toll from the gas leak stands at 12, at least 3 more people have died in Venkatapuram while allegedly ailing due to exposure to styrene vapour.

58-year-old man dies in Vizag family alleges he is victim of LG Polymers leakFile Photo: PTI
news Vizag Gas Leak Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 16:36

A month after the styrene leak gas at LG Polymers that killed 12 people in Visakhapatnam, yet another person who had been suffering from the effects of gas leak died on Monday. K Satyanarayana (58), a resident of Venkatapuram village, died at his residence after briefly suffering from breathlessness, according to his family.  

Satyanarayana’s family has alleged that his death was caused by the gas leak. A case of unnatural death has been registered at the Gopalapatnam Police Station under Section 174 (procedure to follow in case of unnatural death, where the police are empowered to undertake an investigation) of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure). 

This is the third death to have occurred in Venkatapuram village, where the families of the deceased have alleged that the death was caused due to the gas leak. However, officials have stated that the deaths cannot be attributed to the gas leak until the post mortem reports are out.  

According to Satyanarayana’s son Gopi, who works as an auto driver and photographer, his father was first admitted to King George Hospital (KGH) on May 8, the day after the gas leak. “He was treated at KGH for a few hours till evening. After that, they discharged him along with many other victims, who were admitted there,” he said. 

However, Gopi alleged that Satyanarayana continued to suffer from stomach pain and dizziness after returning home. With the government announcing Suraksha Hospital at Marripalem as the designated hospital for free treatment for patients affected by the gas leak, Satyanarayana was taken there on May 12. 

“My wife, our two children and I also underwent treatment at Suraksha as we were also feeling ill. Since my father’s condition was more serious, he was kept in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). On May 16, the doctors at Suraksha Hospital said that his condition was deteriorating and he needed dialysis. They referred him to KGH,” says Gopi. 

Satyanarayana then underwent treatment at KGH between May 16 and May 28. “On May 28, the doctors told us that he was in a weak state, and asked us to take him home and make sure he is well nourished so that dialysis and treatment can be done once he is in better,” Gopi said.  

Since then, his father stayed home, and continued to suffer mildly from stomach pain and nausea, while also suffering loss of appetite, Gopi said. He also said that his father did not suffer from any major health ailments prior to the gas leak. 

The official death toll due to the gas leak stands at 12. However, a few days ago, on May 26, an 80-year-old woman named Pala Venkayamma passed away at KGH, and her family has alleged that she died because of the gas leak. Later on June 1, a 46-year-old man named Kanakaraju died after being continuously ill since the gas leak.  His family and a few activists have alleged that he too died due to the gas leak.