Chemical leak at Sterlite, experts team conducts inspection

Chemical leak at Sterlite, experts team conducts inspection

A minor sulphuric acid leak was detected at a godown of Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi, closed by government last month following violent protests in which 13 people were killed in police firing. However, a senior official said there was no need to panic and it would be plugged.

A team of experts entered the sealed Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin on Sunday evening in the wake of reports that there was a suspected chemical leak in a storage unit, said district collector Sandeep Nanduri.

Talking to the media, he said a team of experts had been constituted to inspect the plant on the orders of Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

The experts team was led by a sub-collector and included an administrative engineer from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), the district fire officer, the inspector of factories, revenue officials and police personnel.

“There is no need to panic about the sulphuric acid leak as it is very minor and will be plugged,” he added. There was no impact on the public due to the leak, he said and urged people not to believe in rumours.

The collector said the Sterlite plant had been sealed as per the government order of May 28. Licence of the plant had expired even before that and the TNPCB had not renewed it, he said. “Now, the plant is 100% closed and the electricity and water supply to the plant have been disconnected,” he said.