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Gas leak in SEZ near port city Visakhapatnam, 50 hospitalized

Over 100 women working at an apparel manufacturing unit in Anakapalle district near Vishakhapatnam fell sick on Tuesday due to a suspected poisonous gas leak whose source and cause remained a mystery.

The gas leak took place on the premises of Brandix, an apparel manufacturing unit. According to sources this is the second such incident in two months. 50 people have been shifted to hospitals and evacuation is in progress, while some workers were administered first aid in the medical center in SEZ. The 50 workers who have been hospitalized are all women as per news agency PTI. The women complained of vomiting, nausea, cough, suffocation and breathlessness, some even fainted as per report. On Tuesday, Seeds Intimate Apparel said in a statement that “The safety and well-being of our associates is of utmost importance and we have evacuated all of them. The affected associates are in a stable condition, the company added.

The apparel company employs thousands of workers, mostly women, in the garment manufacturing units. It is located on the 1000 acres campus which comes under greater Visakhapatnam municipal corporation and is next to Porus Labs, the chemical company. Over 4000 women were working at BIAC on Tuesday.

Superintendent of Police Gowthami Sali and her team visited the unit and interacted with some workers of the unit. The police said that they were yet to ascertain the cause of the accident. Mr Gudivada Amarnath, Industries Minister visited the SEZ and discussed with district administration over the incident. He asked officials to take steps for better medical care to the victims in the incident.

This is the second incident of gas leak from the same company in two months. On June 3, 2022 more than 200 women workers fell unconscious. It was then suspected that ammonia gas leaked from a nearby Porus Laboratories unit. Soon after the incident a team of experts from Indian Institute of Chemical Engineering in Hyderabad visited the lab and conducted tests to determine the cause of the leak. In the meantime, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board ordered closure of the lab. The Porus Lab was shut down for a few days however it restarted its activities soon.

Edited by : Sreyoshi Mitra

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Tags: #gasleak #vizag #SEZgasleak #vizagmishap


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