VISAKHAPATNAM, May 8: The gas leakage situation at LG Polymers here is now under control and the operation to plug the emissions will be launched soon, officials said on Friday.
They said except five villages in the close vicinity of the plant which were evacuated after the gas leakage early Thursday, there was no threat to any other area.
Reports of more leakage from the plant had triggered panic late Thursday night with people in areas as far as four km from the plant had moved to safe places.
A day after the gas leak killed 11 people and affected hundreds, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Minister Avanti Srinivas said the situation was completely under control.
He said the operation to plug the emissions of Styrene would begin soon. "This process is likely to be completed by Friday evening or maximum by Saturday morning," the minister told reporters.
The minister, who is monitoring the situation at the plant, said the process to completely plug the emissions would be slow as the experts feel that if they try to rush through, the tank could blast. "I told them to take their own time so that the entire process is completed in a safe manner," said the minister.
Srinivas said 500 tonnes of PTBC inhibitor, an antidote for styrene, had reached the city along with the experts.
Experts from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) held a meeting with the officials from Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), industries department, fire services and LG Polymers to chalk out an action plan to plug the leakage.
Authorities continued spraying water at RR Venkatapuram and surroundings to reduce the gas density in the air. Officials said the air quality was being monitored regularly.
People evacuated from the five villages on Thursday were asked not to return till the area is declared safe. They were advised to remain in the shelters provided by municipal authorities.
Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner RK Meena said areas other than these five villages were safe and appealed to people not to believe the rumours. - IANS