South Korean subway construction site hit by fatal blast
01 June 2016
Four workers were killed and at least ten injured after a subway construction site east of Seoul collapsed on the morning of June 1 after a powerful explosion. Seventeen workers were carrying out welding work on the site in the city of Namyangju when the blast occurred. Those buried under debris were rescued and immediately transported to nearby hospitals for treatment.
The workers were welding iron bars 49 feet underground when the explosion occurred, Gyeonggi Province Fire and Disaster Headquarters said. An official from the Namyangju fire brigade said a gas tank used for the welding operations might have exploded.
Police have set up an investigation to find out the exact cause of the blast.
The accident is the latest addition into a long list of safety accidents in South Korea, where, despite a period of soul-searching after a 2014 ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people, safety issues continue to be overlooked. Analysts say many safety problems in the country stem from lax regulation and wide ignorance about safety in general - and a tendency to value economic expansion over all else.