LG Polymers charged with homicide for India gas leak

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LG Polymers charged with homicide for India gas leak

Indian authorities on Friday filed homicide charges against an LG Chem subsidiary after toxic gas leaked from a factory in eastern India owned by the Korean company, killing 12 people and sickening around a thousand.

 
Indian police filed a culpable homicide complaint against LG Polymers in the wake of the gas leak in the city of Visakhapatnam, accusing the company of causing the deaths through negligent handling of its plant operations.
 
Residents near the factory were awakened early Thursday by a cloud of styrene that had escaped from the plant. Used in the production of some plastics and rubber, styrene is a neurotoxin that can be fatal in high doses.
 
India’s National Green Tribunal also published an order requiring the chemical company to provide a deposit of 500 million Indian rupees ($6.6 million) for the damage caused by the gas leak.  
 
LG Chem formed an emergency committee headed by its CEO Shin Hak-cheol last Friday. The company said its teams are working with the government to assess the extent of the damage and create concrete measures.  
 
Multiple media outlets reported the CEO will likely visit the affected site, although a spokesperson declined to confirm the reports on Sunday.
 
LG Polymers on Saturday expressed condolences over a gas leak that killed 12 people as it vowed to provide an effective care package for the victims. LG Polymers India said it created a special task force to help victims and families to resolve any issues and provide assistance to the bereaved families.
 
"LG Polymers India would like to express our deepest condolences to everyone who has been affected and hurt by this incident,” the company said in a statement.
 
The company also created a special task force to help victims and families resolve any issues and provide assistance to the bereaved families.
 
The incident took place shortly after the plant resumed operation following a lockdown imposed by the Indian government to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Residents reported waking up, smelling vapor, struggling to breathe and suffering from painful and itchy eyes, according to reporting by Reuters. Unconscious victims and the bodies of dead cows lay in the streets.
 
BY PARK EUN-JEE, YONHAP   [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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