Gas leak at Vizag pharmaceutical company kills two, injures four

The incident took place at Sainor Life Sciences which allegedly hadn’t received permission to open in the red zone

Gas leak

Just weeks after the styrene gas leak at the LG Polymers factory, Visakhapatnam witnessed another incident of toxic gas leak. This time benzimidazole gas leaked from a pharmaceutical company, Sainor Life Sciences, which killed two persons and critically injured four others, according to various media reports.

The incident took place in the wee hours of Tuesday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City (JNPC), Parawada, at the pharmaceutical company when over 30 people were at work. The Times of India reported that a total of six workers collapsed after inhaling the gas. While the exact cause of leakage is yet to be ascertained, officials suspect that the leak might have taken place due to technical reasons. District Collector V Vinay who visited Sainor Life Sciences to inspect the matter allegedly told CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy that the incident was confined to a section of the factory and the leakage was reported from a reactor. It was also informed that the unit had been shut down as a precautionary measure, TOI reported.



A report by Economic Times said that the four injured had been kept on ventilator at the hospital and the police had also registered a case against the company’s management. It was also reported that this was the second incident of gas leakage at the Parawada factory of Sainor Life Sciences in the last three years where an earlier reactor blast had killed two and injured five people.

It was also alleged that Sainor Life Sciences hadn’t yet had the consent to re-open in a red zone, but workers were still present at the factory.



According to the Department of Industries, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, the company had applied for a ‘consent for establishment red category’ on June 15, 2020 and the permissible date of approval would be July 14, 2020. The application was still at the concerned department waiting to be approved and even then the factory became operational.

Economic Times had reported that the Environment Ministry had in March amended the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification to expedite the environmental clearance for API-related projects saying that companies would get approvals at the state levels itself.

Series of gas leaks

This is the third incident of gas leakage in the state during the lockdown. The first was the styrene gas leak at LG Polymers which killed 11 and left over 1,000 ill after they inhaled the fumes of the gas. Just two days ago, at least 1 worker died and three others were admitted to the hospital after an ammonia gas leak incident at SPY Agro industries in the state’s Kurnool district.

On June 3, a mysterious explosion took place in Yashashvi Rasayan Private Ltd (YRPL) chemical factory at Dahej in Bharuch, Gujarat. Reportedly, the blast was caused due to a reaction between two containers on account of some chemical process. The blast has led to deaths of 10 persons.

The National Green Tribunal had taken cognizance of the gas leak at LG Polymers and imposed an interim penalty of Rs. 50 crore which it directed should be spent on compensation to the victims and restoration of the environment.

Taking cognizance of the leak at the Dahej chemical factory, it had directed the owners to make an interim deposit of Rs. 25 crore as penalty, minus the statutory compensation/ex gratia payments already made to the victims, if any, with the District Magistrate. Holding the company liable for the loss caused due to the blast, NGT asked to pay Rs 15 lakh to family members of each deceased, Rs 5 lakh each to those grievously injured, Rs 2.5 lakh each to the injured, and Rs 25,000 each to those displaced from their homes due to the incident.

Meanwhile, a similar incident has also taken place in Assam where Oil India Limited (OIL) reported a blowout during workover operations at the Baghjan oil well leading to an uncontrolled release of natural gas which has yet not been controlled. The well also caught fire on June 9, which has yet not been doused. The incident took the life of OIL’s two firefighters and it was revealed the company had subverted laws and extended its drilling and testing to seven new locations at the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, bypassing the rule for public hearings to be undertaken for operations inside protected forests. Taking cognizance of the matter NGT had imposed an interim penalty of Rs. 25 crore on the company.  


The price of profit, OIL’s misadventure threatens Tinsukhia’s reserve forests & wild life sanctuaries: Assam

LG Polymers India has Absolute Liability: NGT on Vizag Gas Leak

Management Irresponsibility plus weak monitoring by MoEF&CC: Committee, Vizag gas leak




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