NHRC issues notice to Andhra Pradesh govt, Centre over Vizag gas leak tragedy

So far, 10 people have died in the tragedy.

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the Visakhapatnam Gas leak tragedy which has killed 10 people so far while thousands have fallen sick.

"The Commission has observed that though prima-facie, as of now, there are no reports regarding human error or negligence but the fact that so far at least 8 innocent citizens have lost their lives and thousands have fallen sick, is indeed a serious issue of violation of human rights. Right to life of the victims has been grossly violated. At a time when the human lives across the country are at stake due to spread of Covid-19 virus and everyone is forced to stay indoor, the gruesome tragedy has come as bolt from the blue for the people," said a statement from the human rights body.

The Commission has asked the authorities to submit a detailed report in the matter including the status of the rescue operation, medical treatment provided to the people fallen sick and relief and rehabilitation provided by the state authorities to the affected families.

A notice has also been issued to the Director-General of Police, Andhra Pradesh to inform within four weeks about registration of FIRs in the matter and status of the investigation being conducted.

NHRC further the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs to examine whether the norms laid down under relevant provisions of the law are being implemented at the particular industrial unit and to submit a report to the Commission. 

The authorities have been given four weeks to respond to the notices.

According to reports, the leakage started at around 2:30 AM, creating a panic among the people of nearby villages and leaving them areas no time to rush for safety.

The incident occurred at RR Venkatapuram village of the area where gas leakage was identified at LG Polymers in Gopalpatnam. People complained of burning sensation in eyes and difficulties in breathing following which, they were taken to the hospital.

It is being said that the maximum impact of the gas leak was in about 1-1.5 area km but the smell was in 2-2.5 km radius. RK Meena, CP Visakhapatnam City informed that an FIR has been registered while Andhra Pradesh DGP, Damodar Goutam Sawang, has said that it was an accident and all safety protocols were being followed at the chemical plant that is owned by LG Polymers.

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