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LG Chem says no 2nd gas leak at Indian plant

All News 08:44 May 08, 2020

SEOUL, May 8 (Yonhap) -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's leading chemical firm, said Friday there was no second gas leak at its plant in India, a day after a leak of toxic gas killed at least 11 people.

LG Chem said it has asked Indian police to evacuate residents near the LG Polymers chemical plant in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh due to concerns of the rising temperature of a tank of gas.

LG Chem's response came hours after Reuters reported there is a wider evacuation as gas began leaking again from the LG Chem plant.

This AFP photo shows people gathering in front of the LG Polymers chemical plant in Visakhapatnam in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on May 7, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

People in a 5-kilometer radius of the plant were being moved out, Reuters said, citing N. Surendra Anand, a fire officer in the Visakhapatnam district, where the plant is located.

The accident took place early Thursday when workers were preparing to reopen the plant after the lockdown imposed over the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Express reported, citing Andhra Pradesh Commerce Minister M Goutham Reddy.

On Thursday, LG Chem said the gas leak has been brought under control and the company is taking all steps to ensure affected people can swiftly receive medical treatment.

The Hindu, an Indian English-language newspaper, said there was a leak of styrene gas from the plant.

Styrene is primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics and resins. Short-term exposure to styrene results in mucous membrane and eye irritation, and gastrointestinal effects, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The LG Polymers plant, which LG Chem acquired from Hindustan Polymers in 1996, produces a wide range of polystyrene, including engineering plastic, an industrial raw material for automobiles and electronic parts.


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