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Pharmaceutical factory explosion kills one, injures 17 in South Korea

04 October 2022

An explosion at a pharmaceutical plant in South Korea killed one person and injured 17 others on September 30. The incident happened at a factory operated by Hwail Pharmaceutical in Hwaesong, around 31 miles (50km) south of Seoul.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Firefighters were called to the scene at 14:22 local time after local residents reported hearing an explosion. Officials said that an employee in their 20s had died at the scene. Of the 17 other employees who were injured, four sustained serious injuries while 13 were said to be suffering from smoke inhalation.

The explosion is reported to have originated on the third floor of the five-storey Hwail Pharmaceutical factory. The blast caused a fire to break out which led to the whole building being evacuated. Around 40 employees had been in the building at the time of the incident.

A total of 92 fire trucks and other firefighting vehicles, as well as 201 firefighters, attended the scene to tackle the fire which was extinguished after a few hours, local officials said.

The cause of the explosion is unknown. Local officials said that an investigation would begin immediately to identify the exact circumstances leading up to the incident. Officials added that the factory did not have a sprinkler system or automated fire suppression system.

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