A dozen LG Polymers officials have been arrested in connection to a fatal gas leak at a polystyrene resin plant in India earlier this year, according to a media report.
The July 8 Reuters report said that those arrested included South Korean Chief Executive Sunkey Jeong and two company directors. The May 7 gas leak at the plant resulted in 12 deaths.
The arrests were made under charges of culpable homicide against the company's South Korean parent, LG Chem Ltd., according to the report. The PS plant is in the port city of Visakhapatnam.
Officials with LG Polymers in Mumbai could not be reached for comment. The incident occurred when styrene leaked from the plant in the early hours of May 7. In addition to the deaths, hundreds of area residents suffered effects from the impact of the gas.
The Reuters report said that earlier this week, a government-appointed committee moved that the plant "be shifted away from human habitation" and called for action against top employees. The committee added that LG Chem had been negligent and warning systems were not working, according to the report.
The report added that LG Chem "had ignored potentially hazardous chemical reactions" at the plant in April before the leak, when it was working with reduced staff due to a coronavirus lockdown. The temperature inside the oldest of three styrene monomer storage tanks rose to more than six times the permitted level, after which it evaporated, according to the report.
The Times of India previously had reported that the gas leak was the result of negligence and human error. LG Chem issued an apology shortly after the incident in which the firm expressed its condolences to the deceased and their families.
The incident also has led India's National Disaster Management Authority to issue new guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries. NDMA pointed out that because of to several weeks of lockdown and the closure of industrial units during the lockdown, some operators might not have followed established standard operating procedures.