Visakhapatnam: As per reports, at least six persons, including a minor, were reported dead in an alleged gas leak in a chemical unit here, in the early hours of Wednesday. They died while undergoing treatment in a local hospital.

Around 200 people have been rushed for treatment to various hospitals after complaining of breathing difficulties, and burning sensation in the eyes.

According to the latest information,  the death toll increased to 7 and several were admitted to the hospital as unskilled labourers had joined duties which was the main reason for this pathetic incident.

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Initially, DGP of Andhra Pradesh Gautam Sawang confirmed that the number of fatalities stood at 6.

He said, however two people died in accidents while escaping. He added that the gas is not lethal as such and hopefully most people can be discharged soon. Problem is for those people who inhaled large quantities.

Panic struck in surrounding areas following a suspected gas leak in a chemical factory in the RR Venkatapuram village in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam. People were seen running helter-skelter.

More than a 1,000 people in five surrounding villages, in a 3-km radius, have been reported sick.

Eyewitness said that many people were lying unconscious on the ground.

The incident took place at a polymers unit located in the vicinity of the Naiduthota area near Gopalapatnam.

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

Efforts were underway to plug the leak.

Chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired about the gas leak incident in Visakhapatnam and directed the district officials to take every possible step to save lives and bring the situation under control.

A statement from the CMO office said, "Due to a massive gas leak from LG Polymers plant in Venkatapuram created panic in the wee hours on Thursday, where many fell ill and being treated at King George Hospital."

The chief minister will leave for Vizag and visit the hospital where the affected were being treated.

He is closely monitoring the situation and instructed the district machinery to take immediate steps and provide all help, the statement said.