A chemical gas leaked from an industrial plant in southern India early Thursday, leaving people struggling to breathe and collapsing in the streets as they tried to flee. At least eight people were killed and nearly 1,000 suffered breathing difficulties and other reactions.
Administrator Vinay Chand said several people fainted on the road and were rushed to a hospital in Vishakhapatnam, a city in Andhra Pradesh state. The dead included an 8-year-old girl.
Police Commissioner R.K. Meena said one person died as he fell into a village well while running away from the plant and another person died after he jumped from the second story of his house to escape. The others died in a hospital.
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He also said nearly 100 people hospitalized were in stable condition with no threat to their lives. The gas leak at the plant has been stopped and the air was clear, he added.
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The synthetic chemical styrene leaked from the LG Polymers plant, which workers were preparing to restart after it was closed during the coronavirus lockdown, Chand said. The gas leaked after a fire broke out and it has since been extinguished,