Defence News India: Indian Air Force Saturday airlifted over 8 tonnes of medical supplies for Vizag Gas leak victims who have been affected by the leak of toxic Styrene gas from LG Chem’s plant near Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
“In keeping with its Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operation, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on May 9 carried out operations by assisting the state government of Andhra Pradesh in tackling the Visakhapatnam (Vizag) gas leak incident,” IAF said.
Indian Air Force said following a request from Industries and Commerce Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the IAF airlifted 8.3 tonnes of essential chemicals required to effectively control the gas leak that occurred at Styrene Monomer Storage tank in LG Polymers at Vizag, Andhra Pradesh.
The leak of toxic Styrene gas from South Korean company LG Chem’s (LG Polymer) plant on early Thursday morning killed at least 12 people and affected more than thousand persons in the nearby villages. Hundreds of people suffered chocking and required hospitalisation amid a nationwide lockdown.
Two An-32 transport aircraft of IAF were deployed to airlift approximately 1100 kg of Tertiary Butylcatechol and 7.2 tonnes of Polymerisation Inhibitors and Green Retarders from Mundra, Gujarat to Vizag in Andhra Pradesh.
“These chemicals were required to reduce the toxicity of the gas being leaked from the storage tank,” the IAF said.
LG Chem Gas leak: IAF facilitated movement of experts
The IAF also facilitated the move of Director, Indian Institute of Petroleum from Delhi and a specialist on Styrene Gas from Mumbai to Vizag, the two individuals were required to oversee the operations being undertaken to control the gas leak.
Indian Air Force said it continued to airlift essential supplies required to equip state governments and supporting agencies to combat the outbreak of highly infectious novel corona virus (COVID-19 virus).
Indian Air Force has lifted a total 703 tonnes of load since the time it began operations to assist the government of India on March 25.
A total of 30 heavy and medium airlift assets have been earmarked by the IAF for undertaking any COVID-19 related task.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has killed over 2,290 people in the country and infected nearly 70,000 persons, while the global death toll has crossed 2,87,000 people and number of confirmed cases have crossed 42,56,000 people.