Hospital officials, however, said that the cause of Pala Venkayamma’s death will be known only after receiving her postmortem report.

A woman being shifted to hospital on a bike in Vishakapatanam after gas leakage
news Vizag gas leak Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 14:56

An 80-year-old woman, who received treatment at a hospital following the gas leak at the LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam, passed away on Tuesday evening. Her family members have alleged that she succumbed due to exposure to styrene gas that leaked from the LG Polymers on May 7. Hospital officials, however, say that her death cannot be attributed to the gas leak until after her post-mortem report.  

Pala Venkayamma, who hails from RR Venkatapuram was admitted to the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam on May 8, a day after the industrial accident.  She was then discharged on May 14. 

Twelve people had died following exposure to the styrene gas on May 7. Officials at King George Hospital (KGH) said that a postmortem was conducted to ascertain the exact cause of the death and COVID-19 test was also conducted as per the existing health protocol in the state.

According to KGH Superintendent Dr G Arjuna, the woman was initially admitted following the accident and discharged 'after recovery'  on May 14 along with others.

However, family members of the victim are now alleging that she had developed complications following the initial discharge. Venkayamma developed digestion issues, the family said. They also alleged that the hospital authorities discharged her even though she had not recovered completely. Her daughter told NTV, "She was unwell when she was discharged, they didn't bother even though we said she was not yet well."

Speaking to TNM, KGH officials, however, said that the cause of Venkayamma’s death cannot be attributed to the styrene gas leak until the post-mortem report is available.

Dr G Arjuna said, "As the family members are saying that she died due to the styrene gas exposure, we are awaiting for the post-mortem report and Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) reports. Until then we can't attribute her death to the gas leakage."

He further added that she was admitted to KGH on May 19 in a serious condition. Dr Arjuna said, " She was admitted in a serious condition with old-age ailments, hypertension and electrolyte imbalance and kidney problems on May 19. She was treated in an intensive care unit with ventilator support and in spite of all the measures we have taken, we lost the patient."

Earlier,  the YSRCP government had announced Rs 1 crore each to the families of 12 persons who died following the styrene gas leakage from the LG Polymers plant. Hundreds were hospitalised due to the 'hazardous' gas leakage. The High Court of Andhra has also ordered for the seizure of the LG Polymers premises in Visakhapatnam. 

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