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LG Polymers gas leak: Panel blames company, PCB

7th July, 2020 Environment


- The nine-member High Power Committee (HPC) that probed the LG Polymers gas leak in Vizag ha submitted its report.

Reasons behind the Mishap:

- A high increase in temperature led to polymerisation, causing runaway reactions.

- The temperature rose due to the boiling of liquid styrene monomer to 145 degree Celsius, and caused an increase in the pressure of the vapour, which led to an uncontrolled release of vapour from the vents. The final temperature recorded was 153.7 degree Celsius.

Finding of the committee:

- Mishap was caused due to negligence on several fronts.

- Improper storage design,

- Haphazard maintenance of the old storage tank

- Disregard for red flags.

- The company management had ignored the rise in polymer content from 4th April 2020 and then the sharp rise on 25th April 2020/28th April 2020.

- Panel found fault with the LG Polymers management for the lack of proper safety response preparedness at the plant.

- Inadequate refrigeration and faulty cooling system, absence of circulation and mixing systems, inadequate measures and parameters, poor safety protocol, inadequate safety awareness were found to be reasons that led to the accident.

- The protocols pertaining to emergency response and safety were not followed by the authorities during the lockdown period.

- Company had failed in activating the emergency siren system, despite having 36 siren points including one at the entrance gate.

- Company did not keep sufficient stock of inhibitors and other terminating chemicals to control the runaway reaction.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/negligence-to-blame-for-styrene-leak/article32007971.ece