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"Pray For Everyone's Safety": PM On Gas Leak In Visakhapatnam Plant

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he is praying for the safety of all those affected this morning by a gas leak from a chemical plant in Andhra Pradesh's Vishakhapatnam. The Prime Minister has also called for a meeting of the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) at 11 am to review rescue operations in the southern state.

"Spoke to officials of MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) and NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely. I pray for everyone's safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam," Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

Minutes later, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) announced the PM's meeting with NDMA officials.

"In the wake of the situation in Visakhapatnam, PM Narendra Modi has called for a meeting of the NDMA at 11 AM," the PMO handle tweeted, adding that the Prime Minister had also spoken to Andhra Chief Minister Y Jagan Mohan Reddy and assured all necessary help and support.

Home Minister Amit Shah also offered his condolences and support, and said he would "pray for the well-being of the people of Visakhapatnam".

"The incident in Vizag is disturbing. Have spoken to NDMA officials and concerned authorities. We are continuously and closely monitoring situation. I pray for the well-being of the people of Visakhapatnam," Mr Shah said.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also tweeted, saying he was "shocked" and had asked party workers and leaders in the area to aid rescue and relief efforts.

"I'm shocked to hear about the Vizag gas leak. I urge Congress workers and leaders in the area to provide necessary support and assistance to those affected. My condolences to the families of those who have perished. I pray that those hospitalised make a speedy recovery," Mr Gandhi tweeted.

At least eight people, including a child, have died after gas leaked from the chemical plant that is operated by a multinational firm. Around 200 others have been admitted to hospital.

"There is gas leakage identified at LG Polymers in Gopalpatnam. Requesting citizens around these locations not to come out of houses for the sake of safety," the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation tweeted.

In distressing visuals of the incident, people can be seen trying to help injured and lifting them into waiting ambulances while an industrial siren is heard in the background.

People in masks can be seen carrying others who show difficulty in breathing; they are made to sit by the side of the road till ambulances and emergency personnel arrive.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also tweeted, saying news of the gas leak was "worrying" and that disaster response teams were working with the state government to contain the situation.

"The news of gas leak from a polymer plant in Visakhapatnam is worrying. NDRF HQ is working together with the state government in performing the first responder's duty. My prayers for the safety of all. Condolences to the family of those deceased," she tweeted.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were also among those to express sorrow over the incident, offering condolences to bereaved families.

Set up in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers, the company was taken over by South Korea's LG Chem and renamed as LG Polymers India in 1997. The plant makes polystyrene and expandable polystyrene, a versatile plastic used to make a wide variety of consumer products like toys and appliances.

(Inputs from ndtv.com)

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