Police in southern India have arrested the South Korean head and 11 other employees of a chemical plant for a recent gas leak that claimed at least 15 lives, said a police official. 

The employees late on Tuesday were accused of causing the deaths due to negligence in the incident that occurred on May 7 at the LG Polymers Plant in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh state.

Local police chief Rajeev Kumar Meena confirmed in a statement that CEO Sunkey Jeong, technical director D. S. Kim and addition director P. P. Chandra Mohan Rao were under police custody, along with nine others.

“Investigation disclosed that the incident at M6 styrene storage tank took place due to the negligence of these persons, who also have knowledge that their acts were likely to cause death,” said the statement.

“The case is still under investigation since reports from various departments are yet to be obtained and witnesses examined.”

At least 15 people died, with hundreds of others hospitalized, after a toxic gas leak from the plant in May. The plant was preparing to open after 40 days of lockdown as the government eased restrictions on factories.

A committee formed to probe the incident submitted its findings on Monday to the state’s Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

In the 400-page report, it said that a serious lack of a proper safety and security response, as well as the company’s human negligence, had led to the accident.

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