Residents around the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) refinery in Vizag went into a state of panic as abnormal amounts of smoke was released from the plant on Thursday afternoon. Given that the city folk witnessed dangerous styrene gas leak from RR Venkatapuram’s LG Polymers plant weeks ago, many residents fled from their homes after witnessing the smoke from the HPCL refinery. In the latest, the HPCL authorities have verified that the smoke from the refinery isn’t dangerous. An official statement from the HPCL authorities reassured locals that the emission was a normal flue gas with steam.
Speaking about the incident with Yo! Vizag, Mr. M Kali, Manager of PR and CSR at HPCL stated that residents have no reason to worry as the smoke was released as part of a regular procedure. “A momentary imbalance in combustion at one of the stacks led to the excessive smoke and steam release around 3:10 PM on Thursday. We want to reassure the citizens that this is part of the regular procedure, and the situation was completely brought under control in 3-4 minutes. No staff member or resident around the refinery was affected as the smoke wasn’t dangerous.”
Further, the officer said that the gas emitted from the HPCL refinery in Vizag was just flue gas and steam. “This process is just like vehicles emitting smoke while the engine starts. There is nothing to worry about it. The situation is settled in and around the plant and regular operations commenced within five minutes of the smoke being released,” said the officer.
Videos and images of thick smoke being emitted from the refinery soon went viral on social media with worried citizens asking the officials to provide clarification on the same. The latest response from the company’s officials therefore comes as a sigh of relief, especially in the areas surrounding the refinery.