The High Power Committee (HPC) also held the company responsible for lack of ‘preventive mechanism’ for the incident which claimed 12 lives.

Vizag gas leak Govt appointed panel finds LG Polymers guilty of negligenceFile image: PTI
news Gas leak Tuesday, July 07, 2020 - 09:04

A High Power Committee (HPC) which was probing into the disastrous gas leakage of LG Polymers Private Limited in Visakhapatnam, which took 12 lives and affected hundreds, said there was 'negligence' on part of the company besides lack of 'preventive mechanism’.

The incident happened earlier this year, on May 7. A genotoxic styrene of an estimated 800 tones was exposed to the people who were living in the neighbourhood.

LG Polymers is owned by South Korea based LG Chem Ltd. Following the incident, the state government appointed a High Power Committee (HPC) headed by Neerab Kumar Prasad. The committee on Monday submitted its 4,000 page report.

The HPC Chairman in a statement said, "There was slackness on part of the Company with regard to safety measures. There were no proper preventive mechanisms to avert such incidents and the warning siren facility was also not in order. Non adherence of safety protocols, lack of timely emergency response measures, and negligence were found and we have provided suggestions."

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the report will serve as a guideline on how to avert such mishaps, while stating that if necessary, his government will make necessary amendments to the existing laws.

The HPC claimed that it has mentioned at 36 places about how the alarm system did not function and the siren did not go off, stressing on the lapse of preventive mechanism. 

It said that the incident qualifies to be a 'major accident' under the definition of Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules (MSIHC), 1989 Act. 

The committee claimed that it has met multiple stakeholders and held discussions as part of the probe besides receiving 1,250 questions by the public through emails, phone calls, messages. 

Earlier, a committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) stated that the tragic incident was a result of gross safety lapses.