A chemical gas leak at an LG Polymers plant in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday killed at least six people, and led to more than 120 people being admitted to hospital and the evacuation of three nearby villages, a local official said.


The commissioner of the Visakhapatnam city corporation said styrene leaked from the plant during the early hours of the morning, when families in the surrounding villages were asleep.


“Hundreds of people have inhaled it and either fell unconscious or having breathing issues,” Srijana Gummalla, Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation said on Twitter.


More than 120 villagers were taken to hospitals and at least three surrounding villages were being evacuated, an official in the office of the district’s top bureaucrat said.


“We expect it to take at least an hour to complete evacuation of these villages,” the official added.


The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) tweeted requesting citizens in the vicinity of the plant to stay indoors. Images posted on Twitter showed emergency services including police officers, fire tenders and ambulances at the spot.


Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the images.


South Korean battery maker LG Chemical Ltd, the owner of the facility, was not immediately available for comment.