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Thirteen injured in blast at Nippon Steel plant in Japan

03 September 2014

An explosion at Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal’s Nagoya steel plant in Tokai, Aichi Prefecture, injured 13 steelworkers on September 3, according to local police quoted by the Kyodo news agency. Three of the injured were in a critical state, according to police.

Stock image
Stock image

A spokeswoman for the world's second largest steelmaker said nine of the injured were employees of Nippon Steel and four of them employees of partner companies.

Police said a coke oven blew up at the plant, forcing the entire workforce to be evacuated. Although no fire appeared to follow the explosion, the city asked nearby residents to stay indoors while plant officials determine what happened.

The Nagoya plant has been plagued with problems this year. On four occasions, power failures caused large plumes of black smoke, a problem the company is also busy trying to address, Kyodo said.

The incidents prompted the mayor of Tokai, a city of about 100,000 people, to formally ask the steelmaker to draw up a plan to deal with any safety problems. Mayor Atsuo Suzuki submitted the request twice in the wake of separate incidents, according to local media.

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