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Special panel begins probe into mystery gas leak

Visakhapatanam: The special committee appointed by the government to find the source of gas that leaked into Seeds Intimate India Ltd apparel manufacturing unit affecting as many as 270 female workers, began its investigation on Saturday.

Anakapalli district collector Ravi Patansetty told this newspaper that the committee, having three experts, began collecting samples from the seeds company and nearby units for analysis. The team members also collected blood samples of the women who were hospitalised.

 

“It is a challenging task to identify the gas and the source through which it came,” the collector said.

On the health condition of the women, the collector said most of them had been recovered and 110 women were discharged from the NTR Hospital, Anakapalli, after an expert team from Visakhapatnam cleared them in the morning. Two pregnant women are undergoing treatment in King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam.

The collector added that though the unit was non-hazardous, the management submitted its safety audit reports. He said the operations in the seeds unit had been suspended till the committee submitted its report.

 

Meanwhile, the Opposition TD and Left parties raised hue and cry over the incident blaming the management and the state government for the incident. Senior TD leaders including Telugu Mahila president and former MLA Vanagalapudi Anita condemned the government for its negligence of safety measures in manufacturing units.

State secretary of CPI (M) V. Srinivasa Rao demanded that the government file a criminal case against the management and arrest them. Talking to the media, Srinivasa Rao said the safety audit was not being done properly and this was the fourth incident after the styrene gas leak from LG Polymers.

 

“It is strange that the complex employing more than 20,000 employees has no hospital. They had to search and wait for ambulances to take the patients to different hospitals,’’ Srinivasa Rao said.

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