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India arrests South Korean CEO, 11 others for gas leak at LG Polymers

Indian police have arrested 12 LG Polymers officials, including its South Korean chief executive, an officer said on Wednesday, two months after a gas leak at the company’s south India chemical plant killed 12.

The arrests were made under a case of culpable homicide filed against the company’s South Korean parent, LG Chem Ltd, when the leak occurred in May, police commissioner Rajiv Kumar Meena said.

“A total of twelve members including the CEO and two directors were arrested on Tuesday evening,” Meena, the top officer in the port city of Visakhapatnam where the plant is located, said.

Among those arrested were two directors, one of whom was a South Korean, Meena said.

Toxic styrene gas leaked from the chemical plant in the early hours of May 7, choking many people who were sleeping.

This week, a government-appointed committee recommended that the plant be shifted away from human habitation and called for action against the top employees. It said LG Chem had been negligent and warning systems were not working.

The company did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Meena said three government officials had also been suspended for negligence.

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