Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh High Court, on 24 May, has directed the state government to seize the premises of the LG Polymers, which was responsible for the styrene gas leak in Vizag.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the tragedy, the court issued several interim directions, one of which stated that the company’s premises will be seized and no one, including the directors of the company, will be allowed to enter the premises.

The Andhra High Court also asked the state government why the styrene monomer gas was transported to South Korea without the permission of the court and who was responsible for the decision. The court said the styrene had been transported without the appointment of the investigation panel and before completing magisterial inquiry. It also sought the net worth of LG Polymers company.

The High Court sought an explanation on how the company was allowed to operate without a valid environmental clearance from the ministry of environment, forests, and climate change. The court said the inhibitor concentration in the storage tank had not been checked and the refrigeration, as well as the siren/alarm system, were dysfunctional. Further, it said the bystander population should have been informed of the risks involved and should have been trained in evacuation procedures.

“The replies filed by the Central and state governments are silent on the said issues,” the court observed. The directors of the company have also been asked not to leave the country outside without the permission of the court.
The styrene gas leak at Vizag’s LG Polymers plant on 7 May had led to the death of 12 people, while thousands from nearby villages had fallen sick.

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