Kurnool: A gas leak from a factory owned by S.P.Y. Agro Industries in Nandyal in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh claimed the life of a man on Saturday morning. Four others survived the gas leak.
The man who died has been identified as Srinivasa Rao (50), the general manager of the factory. The accident occurred at around 9:45 am, triggering panic in the nearby localities of Autonagar, Ventkateswarapuram, Udumulapuram. Fire-tenders were rushed in to contain the fast-spreading gas. Loudspeaker announcements were made to caution residents against coming out of their homes.
Kurnool district collector G Veerapandian said the accident occurred due to pressure buildup while maintenance work was being carried out on an ammonia pipeline.
As soon as the pipeline burst and began spewing poisonous gas, workers fled while Sreenivasa Rao became immobilized, sources said. Four others, Tirumala, Ravi, Thimma Reddy and Adinarayana, became violently ill.
Collector Veerapandian set up a committee to investigate the incident, headed by Somasekhar Reddy, general manager of the District Industries department. Other members include Nandyal RDO, APIIC Zonal Manager, Inspector of Factories, District Fire Officer, and Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Executive Engineer, Pollution Control Board, and DSP of Nandyal.
AP Pollution Control Board environmental engineer B.Y. Muni Prasad said the gas leak occurred at a point where ammonia is used as a chilling agent for carbon-dioxide bottling. The ammonia line burst while it was being reset for operations. There were issues of compliance with maintenance regulations, he said.
Repair work had been undertaken on the facility on Friday night and when they tried to test it, pressure built-up leading to ammonia gas leak. He said there was no impact beyond the plant.
The Pollution Control Board had served a notice on the factory on June 11 and even the safety of the plant was flagged by the inspector of factories, he said.