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Explosion at plastics refinery injures 3 in Taiwan

21 July 2020

Three workers suffered injuries on July 15 after an explosion and fire at the Formosa Plastics refinery in Yunlin County, Taiwan. The blast comes just a year after a similar explosion at the same plant and will likely see the owner, Formosa Plastics, fined for breaching air pollution laws.

Formosa Plastic refinery - Image: Wikimedia / Mk2010
Formosa Plastic refinery - Image: Wikimedia / Mk2010

According to news website Taiwan English News, 23 fire trucks attended the scene with 76 firefighters dispatched to battle the blaze. The explosion happened at around 09:00 local time at the Formosa Plastics Mialiao No. 6 refinery.

A local fire official said that the primary combustion material consisted of heavy oil and hydrogen. The fire was brought under control after a short period of time.

Taiwan English News reports Yunlin County Magistrate Zhang Li-shan had expressed anger over the incident due to it occurring just over a year after a similar explosion at the same refinery in April 2019. 

All work at the refinery has been stopped and a fine of NT$5 million (£134,000) had been imposed on Formosa Plastics for breaching the Air Pollution Control law. Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency measured pollution in the vicinity of the refinery and found pollution levels were around 2.4 times higher than the usual daily average.

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