Following a gas leak in India, reports show that at least 12 people have been killed and hundreds are ill with burning eyes and breathing difficulties, as well as nausea and dizziness.

Staff were evacuated after the leak at the Polymer plant in Visakhapatnam however nearly 1,000 people from several villages were taken to hospital after the incident.

The leak which has now been brought under control and the company is working with relevant organisations to protect residents and employees. The plant had been closed since 24th March due to the coronavirus lockdown but they have been preparing to resume operations in recent days. The leak is thought to have spread across approximately two miles.

The BBC reports that State Industries Minister Goutam Reddy said proper procedures and guidelines were not followed during the plant’s re-opening. A local police official was also quoted as saying the gas had been left in a tank due to the lockdown which caused a heat-producing chemical reaction to occur. The heat could then have caused the leak.

Many of these work-related injuries could have been prevented.

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