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Samsung managers probed over fatal chemical leak

28 February 2013

South Korean police said on February 27 that they were investigating three Samsung managers for possible negligent homicide after the toxic chemical leak at a chip-making plant on January 27. One worker was killed trying to stop the leak of hydrofluoric acid at the Samsung Electronics’ plant in the city of Hwaseong, 43 kilometres southwest of central Seoul.

Four other workers were treated in hospital but later released.

A post-mortem showed the worker had died of exposure to gas given off by the leak, which can damage lungs and bones and affect the nervous system.

Police said the leak was due to deterioration of rubber seals on the gas container valves and corroded bolts, and the three managers could face charges of negligent homicide.

“Investigations are still underway on how much gas was released … and its impact on the environment,” the provincial police agency said in a statement.

Samsung is the world’s top maker of smartphones, memory chips and flat-panel TVs.


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