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Vizag gas leak accident an eye-opener, says Andhra DGP Sawang

Amid the pressures of policing Andhra Pradesh during the Covid-19 lockdown, Thursday morning sprang a nasty surprise on the state police when a gas leak in a chemical unit led to 11 deaths and hundreds being hospitalised. In an exclusive interview to IANS, state Director General of Police, Gautam Sawang, discusses the takeaways of handling crises situations during challenging times of national lockdown.

Here is the text of the interview.

Question: A potentially larger tragedy was possibly averted in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday. What factors went in favour of the state?

Answer: First of all, this gas is not so lethal as it could be. Only if it is inhaled in large doses, it becomes lethal. Secondly, there had been a very prompt response, particularly, the police and all other machinery very very quickly because at 3.30 a.m., the first call came to the police control room. Soon after that everybody responded to it and within 10 minutes, our Rakshak mobile patrols landed there so they were able to alert everybody. And this vehicle had some loudspeakers built in for making Covid-related announcements. They were able to alert everyone. So when all the teams rushed there, they went about knocking on doors and even breaking doors and evacuating people from the place.

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