Samsung promises investigation after gas leak proves fatal

A Samsung co-president has apologized and promised a full investigation after a plant gas leak caused one fatality and left other employees injured.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Jeon Dong Su, a co-president of Samsung, has apologized publicly for a plant gas leak that killed one employee and left four injured.

samsung investigation plant gas leak
(Credit: Samsung)

Originally reported by Yon Hap, the publication said that roughly 2.6 gallons of acid leaked--mainly in gas form--from a 132-gallon tank of hydrofluoric acid twice in 24 hours, one leak apparently at 11 p.m. local time, and then a secondary leak at 5 a.m.

The problem was allegedly not reported to local Korean authorities until hours afterwards, and after calling in maintenance firm STI Service to fix the problem--something Samsung described as "minimal," one worker died from acid exposure.

Afterwards, it was discovered that the worker who died was not wearing a hazard suit, although they were equipped with a gas mask. The four others involved in the incident fully recovered.

In response to the fatality and hospitalization of four employees, Jeon Dong Su posted a note on the electronics firm's Korean blog [translated]. The president of the Samsung memory division apologized within the post, and said that the firm will cooperate with authorities while an investigation takes place.

In addition, Samsung promised to find the root cause of the gas leak in order to create "permanent measures" to prevent an acid leak from reoccurring.

According to local media reports, police called in officials from both Samsung and STI late Monday in order to be questioned over how long it took for the accident to be reported. Company officials allegedly told the police they were "too busy handling the scene" to call in local authorities in a timely manner.

Local police intend to investigate whether employees had access to safety equipment as well as determine why the leak was able to occur.

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