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Glitch in refrigeration unit led to Vizag gas leak

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Visakhapatnam, May 08: A technical glitch in the refrigeration unit attached to the two styrene tanks at a chemical plant near here caused the vapour leak that killed 11 people and affected around 1,000 on Thursday, a senior district official said quoting a preliminary report.

Glitch in refrigeration unit led to Vizag gas leak

"The leak at the LG Polymers Limited was so intense that only around 9.30 am could we understand what exactly it was as the thick fog that formed in the area cleared," District Collector V Vinay Chand said. Styrene monomer is normally in a liquid state and is safe below a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

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But, because of the malfunctioning of the refrigeration unit, the chemical started gasifying," he said, quoting the preliminary report submitted by the Factories Department.

The technical glitch caused the temperature in the chemical storage tank to rise above the safety level of 20 degrees, leading to gasification and consequent evaporation of styrene, he told reporters here.

As many as 11 people, including children, were killed in the early morning gas leak, that raised fears of a serious industrial disaster.

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