New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Thursday to take stock of the steps being taken in response to the Vishakhapatnam gas leak incident. 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 and others.
According to PIB report, on receiving the first information about the incident, PM and the home minister talked to Andhra Pradesh chief minister and assured all required aid and assistance from the Centre to tackle the situation.
Immediately after this meeting, Cabinet Secretary took a detailed review meeting along with the Secretaries of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Chemicalsand Petrochemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Information and Broadcasting; Members of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Director General (DG), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF); Director General of Health Services (DGHS) and Director AIIMS, and other medical experts; to chart out specific steps to support the management of the situation on the ground. Principal Secretary to Prime Minister was also present in the meeting.
It was decided that a team from CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) unit of NDRF from Pune, along with an expert team of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur would be rushed to Vishakhapatnam 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 at 3 am in RR Venkatapuram village, Gopalapatnam Mandal in Visakhpatnam District. It affected the surrounding villages including 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 (NDRF) team with CBRN personnel at Vishakhapatnam 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 Vishakhapatnam. Besides, DGHS will provide specialized medical advice to the medical practitioners on the ground.