This post has been updated.
At least 11 people, including an eight-year-old, were reported dead and over 5,000 have fallen sick following a gas leak early today (May 7) from a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The incident took place when the plant was being re-opened for the first time since March 24, when prime minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Disturbing videos and photographs of victims lying unconscious or dead were circulating on Indian social media.
The exact cause of the incident is yet unclear.
Several residents near the chemical gas plant of LG Polymers India in RR Venkatapuram village of the district reported burning sensation in their eyes and difficulty in breathing, and were being advised by the authorities to stay indoors.
Taking stock of the situation, prime minister Modi took to Twitter to inform that he is closely monitoring the situation.