At least seven people, including a child, were killed following a chemical gas leakage at LG Polymers industry in RR Venkatapuram village, Visakhapatnam, early Thursday morning. Nearly seventy people have been hospitalised following the incident. The leak was first reported at 2:30 in the night, an official told a TV channel.

More than a 1,000 people in five surrounding villages, in a three km radius, have reported sick.

DG Sawang, the Andhra Pradesh DGP, said there have been seven casualties in the incident so far, adding of one peroson fell into a well while trying to escape. The evacuation is still underway, he said. The plant was shut due to the nationwide lockdown announced in the last week of March.

After the leak, people complained of burning sensation in their eyes and experienced difficulty in breathing. They were immediately rushed to the hospital, multiple news agencies reported.

Reacting to the unfortunate incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had spoken to officials of MHA and NDMA regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely.

“I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam.”

The Prime Minister has also called for a meeting with NDMA officials. “In the wake of the situation in Visakhapatnam, PM @narendramodi has called for a meeting of the NDMA at 11 AM,” tweeted the Prime Minister’s Office.

TV channels showed people lying unconscious on roads.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on the spot.

Police, ambulances, and fire tenders have been rushed to the area to assist in rescue operations.

Reports said the gas leak has been contained.

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired about the incident and directed the Visakhapatnam district collector to ensure proper medical care for the affected people.

(With inputs from agencies)

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