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India: Gas leak accident in LG Polymer a chemical plant in Vishakhapatnam - Statement by AITUC demands enquiry to fix the guilty for negligence

7 May

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All India Trade Union Congress
AITUC Bhawan: 35-36, DDU Marg, Rouse Avenue, New Delhi – 110002
E Mail: aituchq[at]gmail.com Tel: +91 1123217320

[Press Release]

07.05.2020

AITUC demands enquiry to fix the guilty for negligence and stringent action in the L G Polymer Company gas leakage accident - Demands compensation for the deceased and sick

Gas leak accident in LG Polymer Company – a South Korean company with its parent firm LG Chem – a chemical plant in Vishakhapatnam for making synthetic rubber and resin having claimed eleven lives till now and about two dozens of people on ventilators among several hundreds hospitalized once again brings forth the issues of occupational safety and health (OSH) not only for those who are at the work place but also for all those who happen to be living in the vicinity of such plants. It reminds us the Bhopal gas leak tragedy. The lessons have not been learnt from the previous accidents to ensure as continuous process of safety measures in industries. Among the deceased there are two girls aged 6 & 9 years and a young boy of 19 years and many sick are from the villages RR Venkatapuram, Venkatapuram, Padnabhapuram, Ashok Nagar, B C Colony, Banta Colony, in the vicinity of the company.

Trade Unions have always been demanding for OSH to be a serious issue and no negligence on that account by the authorities who issue NOC for opening and operations as well as of the inspectorate who should regularly ensure compliance. The pollution or environmental deterioration must be a due consideration while granting permission for any factories to be established. In the deaths confirmed till now and those of affected people hospitalized are also the people from the villages around the factory. Even though it is being claimed that Styrene gas is not fatal but even then it has already taken lives of some people and pushed about more than 2000 into sickness.

The initial report says that there were several hundred of workers inside the factory. We demand proper enquiry to reveal the facts and to fix responsibility for adequate legal action on the guilty management for this tragic mishap.

AITUC demands adequate compensation to the victims of this accident, to the families of deceased and those fallen sick and hospitalized. The government should bear the expenses for all those who have fallen sick in this accident.

AITUC further demands that all safety and health issues of the workforce be kept in mind and the centre and state governments and concerned authorities should once again look at the safety requirements when the companies/ factories reopen after lockdown.

Amarjeet Kaur
General Secretary, AITUC

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India: 7 May 2020 - AITUC Press Note of LG Polymer Gas Leak Accident in Vizag