Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu today demanded a probe into the gas leak incident in Visakhapatnam and asked the Centre to immediately shut down the chemical plant from where styrene vapour leaked.

Eleven people, including a child, died and hundreds of others were hospitalised due to the gas leakage early Thursday. The plant had reopened on Thursday after COVID-19 lockdown rules were eased.

Mr Naidu urged the Centre to immediately send medical experts to the district as it may not have the required expertise to treat people affected with styrene gas.

In a letter to Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal, Mr Naidu also asked the Centre to deploy veterinary experts to treat animals affected by the toxic gas.

“Further, COVID-19 infects the lungs and reduces the immunity of the person. Hence, it is essential that the medical aid should be two pronged keeping in mind Styrene Gas and COVID-19,” Mr Naidu said in the letter.

“It is also essential to immediately close down the LG Polymers Unit and initiate a thorough enquiry into the gas leakage,” he said.

The former chief minister suggested that the entire unit should be shifted to a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that has no population in the vicinity.

Expressing grief over the tragedy, Naidu said as of now few people have died, while around 2000 people have fallen sick due to the leakage.

He said that the central government should provide necessary equipment for analysing the radius affected by styrene gas.

“It is important to focus on mitigating further loss of lives and in the long run to minimise the adverse health effects on the people of Visakhapatnam,” he said.

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