Police on Tuesday night arrested the CEO and two directors besides eight other officials of LG Polymers in connection with the styrene vapour leak incident in which 12 people were killed and 585 fell sick on May 7, Visakhapatnam police chief RK Meena told PTI.
The arrests were made a day after the High-Power Committee, appointed by the state government to probe the vapour leak, submitted its report to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The report blamed multiple inadequacies on part of LG and slackness of management over poor safety protocols and total breakdown of the emergency response procedures in the plant that resulted in the tragedy.
The police registered a case on May 7 against LG Polymers at R R Venkatapuram, under various IPC Sections including 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health). Exactly two months later, the arrests were made.
The gas reportedly started leaking around 2:30 am on May 7 when the workers were preparing to reopen the plant after it remained shut since the COVID-19 lockdown announced on March 25. The incident of styrene gas leakage occurred in RR Venkatapuram village, Gopalapatnam Mandal in Visakhapatnam District. It affected the surrounding villages namely Narava, BC Colony, Bapuji Nagar, Kampalapalem and Krishna Nagar.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT)slapped an interim penalty of Rs 50 crore on LG Polymers India and sought response from the Centre and others in the gas leak incident in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam, which 11 people have died and hundreds were admitted in the hospital. NGT said that “there appears to be a failure to comply with the said rules and other statutory provisions”.
LG Chem produces petrochemicals, plastic resins, and engineering plastics, and has plants across South Korea and around the world, from the United States and Brazil to China and Australia. The company also manufactures industrial and electronic materials and has emerged as one of the top battery suppliers for hybrid and electric cars, with customers including Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Volkswagen, and BMW.