NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the steps being taken in response to the Visakhapatnam gas leak incident in which 11 people have been killed.
He discussed at length the measures being taken for the safety of the affected people as well as for securing the site affected by the disaster.
The meeting was attended by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Ministers of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai and G. Kishan Reddy, besides other senior officers.
On receiving the first information about the incident in the morning, the PM and the Home Minister talked with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and assured all required aid and assistance to tackle the situation. They are monitoring the situation closely and continuously.
Immediately after this meeting, the Cabinet Secretary took a detailed review meeting along with the Secretaries of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Information and Broadcasting, members of the National Disaster Management Authority and Director General, National Disaster Response Force, Director General of Health Services and Director AIIMS, and other medical experts, to chart out specific steps to support the management of the situation on the ground.
The Principal Secretary to Prime Minister was also present in the meeting.
It was decided that a team from Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear unit of NDRF from Pune, along with an expert team of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur would be rushed to Visakhapatnam immediately to support the state government in the management of the crisis on the ground, and also to take measures for resolving the short-term as also long-term medical impact of the leak.
The incident of styrene gas leakage occurred in a chemical plant in the early hours in RR Venkatapuram village, Gopalapatnam Mandal in Visakhpatnam District.
It affected the surrounding villages namely Narava, B.C Colony, Bapuji Nagar, Kampalapalem and Krishna Nagar.
Styrene gas, which is toxic in nature, may cause irritation to the skin, eyes and causes respiratory problems and other medical conditions.
The National Disaster Response Force team with CBRN personnel at Visakhapatnam was deployed immediately to support the State Government and local administration.
The NDRF team carried out immediate evacuation of communities living in the immediate vicinity of the site.
The specialized CBRN unit of NDRF from Pune and NEERI expert team from Nagpur, have left for Visakhapatnam. Besides, DGHS will provide specialized medical advice to the medical practitioners on the ground.