Vijayawada : The Andhra Pradesh High Court, on Tuesday, granted bail to 12 persons including the Chief Executive Officer of L G Polymers Limited in connection with the styrene vapour tragedy that claimed twelve lives and left over 500 hospitalized in Vizag city on May 7.

Two months after the gas leakage incident on May 7, the officials of South-Korean chemicals giant were arrested by the Vizag city police on July 7.

The arrested included LG Polymers’ managing director and CEO Sunkey Jeong, technical director D S Kim (both South Korean nationals), additional director (operations) Pitchuka Poorna Chandra Mohan Rao, head of the department and shift in-charge Kodi Srinivas Kiran Kumar, team leader (production) Raju Satyanarayana were among those who were arrested.

The arrests were made based on the report of the experts committee appointed by the Andhra Pradesh government that made the LG Polymers management liable for the accident. The High Power Committee (HPC) report concluded that, the poor design of the tank of styrene gas, inadequate refrigeration and faulty cooling system, absence of circulation and mixing systems, inadequate measures and parameters, poor safety protocol, poor safety awareness and total breakdown of the emergency response of the procedures were the root cause of the major mishap.

The gas leakage affected the adjoining six colonies/villages of Venkatapuram, Venkatadri Nagar, Padmanabhapuram, SC & BC Colony, Nandamuri Nagar, RR Venkatapuram.

The chairman of HPC, Neerabh Kumar Prasad, also observed that the inadequate risk assessment response, poor process safety management system, slackness of management, insufficient knowledge among staff, insufficient knowledge of the chemical properties of styrene, especially during storage conditions and non-observance of the safety protocol by the authorities during the lockdown period were other reasons for the tragedy.

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