Forensic investigation has held human error and negligence as the reasons for the hazardous gas leak in Vishakhapatnam last Thursday (7 May) which had led to the death of 12 people, while leaving hundreds in the urgent need of hospital care, reports Times of India.
After scouring the plant of LG polymers where the gas leakage took place, forensic experts from the Andhra Forensic Science Laboratory revealed that as per the preliminary findings, negligence in adding auto-polymerisation inhibitors in the styrene storage tank and failure in maintaining the temperature below 20 degrees centigrade during the phase of lockdown led to the leakage.
Styrene is a liquid hydrocarbon which has the property to leak at high temperature and evaporate into the atmosphere as vapour. Thus, to prevent this from happening, the gas needs to be mixed with tertiary butyl catechol (TBC). However, during the course of lockdown, TBC was not added to the tank storing styrene gas, resulting in its leakage.
The gas leakage in Vishakhapatnam has reignited the horrors that the nation witnessed decades ago during the Bhopal gas tragedy which had led to widespread deaths.
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