A large group of locals protested outside the LG Polymers plant for over five hours in RR Venkatapuram in the morning hours of Saturday. The styrene gas leak mishap at the LG Polymers plant killed 12 and left hundreds of victims critically ill. The protests flared up when the local police were trying to take the bodies of three deceased to the burial ground at Venkatapuram Village after their autopsy was conducted at King George Hospital on Saturday. The protesters of the Vizag gas leak tragedy stopped the passage of ambulances, blocked the main entrance of the factory and demanded that the LG Polymers plant must be shutdown. They were mostly living in nearby villages. Some of the protesters were taken into custody, in order to control the situation.
As per reports, the locals charged at the ambulances and forcefully carried the three dead bodies to the entrance of the LG Polymers plant, paying no heed to the warnings from the Visakhapatnam Police. Some ministers at the agitation site tried convincing the locals that they would be duly compensated as the AP Government had announced an Ex Gratia of Rs 1 crore to the family of the victims. However, the angry mob continued to loudly raise slogans, demanding justice for the victims and their family members. Further, the Vizag gas leak tragedy victims asserted that no compensation would bring back the dead victims’ lives and demanded the shutdown of LG Polymers, saying it posed a threat to their lives as well.
The mob then proceeded to obstruct a contingent of Ministers and police officials – including Minister of Labour – G Jayram and Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang who were on state duty to visit the LG Polymers plant. DGP Gautam Sawang tried asserting to the media and the protestors, saying all safety measures are in place to prevent mishaps of such magnitude in the future. Stating that people need not panic, DGP Sawang added that State Government officials, technical experts, scientists and special teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are at the plant and are reviewing the current status and safety measures. He assured that the other tanks in the plant are stable and there is no reason to worry or panic. The DGP said that the gas leak issue is being investigated and the five-member committee constituted to look into the matter will continue the probe with the help of technical inputs.