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South Korea chemical plant explosion injures 31

04 March 2020

An explosion at a Lotte Chemical plant in Seosan, South Korea injured 31 people on March 4. The blast was caused by a fire at a compressor in the plant’s naphtha cracker unit which has now been shut down.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

The explosion in the northwest of the country happened at around 03:00 and has since been contained and brought under control by firefighters. A naphtha cracker dissolves naphtha, a flammable liquid made from distilling petroleum, to produce chemical products.

In a statement, Lotte Chemical said that operations have been halted at the plant while an investigation begins to find the exact cause of the blast. The chemical company has two naphtha crackers in South Korea, producing around 2.3 million tonnes of ethylene a year.

Lotte Chemical has suspended seven of its 10 facilities at the plant.

The injured include both workers at the plant and local residents. No deaths have been reported. Around 240 firefighters and 38 vehicles responded to the incident.

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