The police arrested CEO of LG Polymers, Sunkey Jeong, and its two directors, DS Kim and P Purnachandra Mohan Rao, along with nine other company officials in connection with the horrendous incident of styrene vapor leak that took place on May 7th in Visakhapatnam. Over 12 lives were lost, and 585 fell sick due to the gas leak(1).
In regard to the event, the Pollution Control Board suspended three of its officials, including P Prasada Rao and R Lakshmi Narayana, for the ‘gross negligence’ that cost many lives.
Visakhapatnam Commissioner of Police R K Meena told PTI that the investigation disclosed that the misfortune incident at M6 styrene storage tank happened due to the negligence of the officials arrested, who were aware of the fact that their acts of negligence can cause death.
He stated that the case was still under investigation, and reports from multiple departments had to obtained and witnessed to be examined.
LG Polymers registered under IPC 278
The Gopalapatnam police, which comes under Visakhapatnam Police Commissionerate, registered a case against LG Polymers on May 7th at R R Venkatapuram under multiple IPC sections. It was also registered under IPC section 278, which is for making the atmosphere noxious to health.
The arrests were made two months after the case was registered.
The High Powered Committee appointed to probe the vapor leak tragedy by the state government, submitted their report to CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, within which multiple inadequacies on LG Polymer’s part, including slackness of management over poor safety protocols, was stated.
The report also pointed out all the breakdown of the emergency response procedures in the plant and negligence by different government departments, especially the Directorate of Factories, that played a role in the resulting of the grave tragedy.
Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories K B S Prasad was also suspended due to his lapses and failures in enforcement of the Factories Act and other regulations in LG Polymers.