Andhra Pradesh's Industry Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy on Thursday said the negligence by LG Polymers led to a gas leak from its plant in Visakhapatnam, resulting in the death of eight people and affecting many others.
The minister said the company management would have to own the responsibility for the tragedy, which affected people in surrounding villages.
"A responsible company like LG should have taken extra precautions," the minister said. He said the volume of the gas leaked was not much and hence there will be no further harm to human lives.
The minister said their focus was now on providing relief to the affected. "We will study long-term effects of this on the surrounding villages and announce relief measures for the affected," he said.
The minister earlier tweeted that the ministry was in touch with Visakhapatnam district collectorate and management of LG polymers. He said the situation was being brought under control.
"We have instructed concerned authorities to take required measures on a war footing. Villages evacuation is underway. Request citizens not to panic and cooperate with authorities," he said.
The minister said a dedicated team will provide all the required assistance. A team from the industries department was on site, manning rescue operations.
The minister announced that a help desk was set up in the office of the general manager of the department of industries in Visakhapatnam. The contact numbers are 7997952301, 8919239341 and 9701197069
Director General of Police Gautam Sawang said the police received the information about the gas leak through dial 100 in the early hours of Thursday. "Quick response teams were deployed soon after the outbreak and people were evacuated to safe places."
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Andhra Pradesh Special Police (APSP) and nearby police were deployed to rescue and shift people to safe places.