Thoothukudy, March 25, 2013: One worker, reportedly a 35-year old man from Bihar, succumbs to effects of gas exposure following a poisonous gas leak from front of the Sterlite Copper Smelter on 23rd March 2013. The body of the deceased hospital was kept in the mortuary of the government hospital even as SIPCOT Police Station officials stated that they had no intimation of the worker’s death. According to other workers, the deceased worker was working in Sterlite’s captive power plant across the highway from the smelter. Following the gas leak, he reportedly complained of suffocation and subsequently collapsed. With this incident, Sterlite has witnessed 3 hazardous events this month resulting in at least 2 deaths and 1 serious injury. Irate Thoothukudy residents led by political leader Vaiko staged a demonstration at the District Collector’s office, demanding closure of the copper smelter. Vaiko has announced a march from the city to the Sterlite gates on 28th March, with a single point demand seeking closure of the plant.
The company which was shut down by the Madras High Court in September 2010 is currently operating on leave granted by the Supreme Court.