The owner of a chemical factory died and 13 others were hospitalised following liquid chlorine gas leakage near Chithode in Tamil Naduâ€™s Erode district on Saturday, December 11. According to the police, Damodharan, the owner of Sridhar Chemicals, was attending to a blockage in the chlorine gas pipe on Saturday afternoon, when the gas reportedly leaked from the pipe.
Damodharan (40) died on the spot after inhaling the poisonous gas, police sources said. As over 13 others working at the factory too breathed in the poisonous gas and faced breathing difficulties, they were rushed to the Thanthai Periyar Government Headquarters Hospital in Erode.
Four fire and rescue service vehicles were deployed to rescue the workers from the factory. The team also worked swiftly in controlling the leak before it spread.
Erode Collector H Krishnanunni and Superintendent of Police Sasi Mohan visited the spot. Police have registered a case.
In a similar tragic incident in Vizag in May last year, 12 people were killed and around 585 people fell sick after inhaling styrene vapour leak. Due to the leakage, animals and plants in the vicinity were also affected.
In connection with the case, the Visakhapatnam police arrested the CEO and Managing Director of LG Polymers, Sunkey Jeong, Technical Director DS Kim and Additional Director (Operations) Poorna Chandra Mohan Rao. The remaining employees who were arrested include a production team leader, three engineers, one operator, a night duty officer for operations and a night shift safety officer, and a GPPS (General Purpose Polystyrene) in-charge. The government formed a committee to inquire about the case, which submitted a report to the Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.