Vizag seems to be accursed. The port city in the recent past has witnessed a series of mishaps owing to gross human failure and lack of safety norms.
After gas leaks in polymer and pharma companies, tragedy struck Vizag yet again. This time, at least 11 persons died and several others were trapped under a crane that came crashing at Hindustan Shipyard. This occurred when the workers were testing the efficiency of the crane when it suddenly collapsed and fell on them.
When the workers were on duty, the crane crumbled and crashed to the ground leaving at least 11 of them crushed under its weight. It is not clear how many more workers were trapped under the crane. Officials said at least 30 workers were said to be working on the inspection when the crane crashed. At least 10 bodies were retrieved from under the debris of the crane. Several workers are believed to be trapped under the crane. Several workers were rushed to various hospitals.
Visakhapatnam district collector Vinay Chand confirmed that 11 people died in the crane crash, including four employees of Hindustan Shipyard and six contract workers. At the time of the incident, 10 workers were in the crane cabinet, he stated. Further, the Viskahapatnam district collector pointed out that two committees have been constituted to probe the factors that led to the crane crash.
TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed concern over the incident. Naidu conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased persons in the tragedy and demanded that the Andhra Pradesh government provide best medical treatment to those injured in the incident.
The latest incident comes at a time when the Vizag residents are terrified over the series of tragic mishaps. The LG Polymers gas leak on May 7 had left at least 14 dead and hundreds hospitalised. A probe into the incident found that the plant lacked necessary environmental clearance before the leak, safety norms and also failure of staff to prevent the disaster.
Even before Vizag was yet to recover from the styrene gas leak shock, at least three persons died and four others took ill in a gas leak at Sainor Life Sciences Private Limited, a pharma company located at Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City in Parwada on the city outskirts. This was followed by an explosion at Visakha Solvents plant at Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City has left one dead and several others injured.
The spate of successive leaks of poisonous chemicals and explosions in pharma and polymer plants in Visakapatnam showed that the YSRCP government lacks the political will to rein in the erring industrial units and also reflects on its failure to ensure that industrial accidents do not occur. The series of mishaps came at a time the Andhra Pradesh government was making all out efforts to shift capital from Amaravati to Vizag.