LG Chem denies second leak at Indian factory

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LG Chem denies second leak at Indian factory

Rescuers evacuate people following a gas leak incident at an LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam, India, on Thursday. [AFP/YONHAP]

Rescuers evacuate people following a gas leak incident at an LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam, India, on Thursday. [AFP/YONHAP]

The death toll from a deadly gas leak at an LG Chem factory in India increased to at least 11 on Friday, with an evacuation order put in place for the affected area.  
 
Several media reports said that the order was made because of a renewed leak from the LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam in India's eastern Andhra Pradesh state, but the Korean chemical company said on Friday that there has been no second leak.  
 
“There was not a second leak and [the reports] were about [LG Chem] requesting police to evacuate residents as a precautionary measure based on the concerns of that tank’s temperature,” the petrochemical maker said in a statement.  
 
It added that the company is taking necessary measures, including putting water into the tank.
 
Along with the rising number of those killed, hundreds of residents have been hospitalized.  
 
India’s National Disaster Management Authority said nearly 1,000 people were directly exposed to the gas and about 20 to 25 of them are in a critical but stable condition.
 
The reports of the gas leak surfaced on Thursday with video footage showing Indian residents suddenly collapsing and people carrying unconscious victims over their shoulders.  
 
While LG Chem has already started an investigation into the fatal leak, multiple media reports point to Styrene, a flammable liquid serving as the key ingredient for plastics and polymers, as the culprit for the toxicity.  
 
BY PARK EUN-JEE   [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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