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Archive for September 13th, 2018

leakpress

On Sept. 12, SHARPS and civil-society groups formed an ad hoc committee, calling on the government to better regulate Samsung’s safety measures.

 

Last week’s fatal carbon dioxide leak at Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s flagship chip plant claimed another life on Sept 12, as a 54-year-old worker was pronounced dead after eight days in a coma.  His death brought the toll up to two out of the four victims hospitalized on Sept 4. after their exposure to the gas.  One victim died the day he was exposed. The third remains unconscious.  A Samsung paramedic was also injured.

The four victims’ identities were not released.

Temporary Workers and Ruptured Valves

The three non-Samsung victims, all temps from the company’s outsourcer, were poisoned by carbon dioxide as they worked in a basement storage facility for the gas at the company’s Giheung plant in South Korea’s Gyonggi province.  The cause of the leak has yet to be determined, but valves were seen ruptured, according to Yonhap News.

Cover-up

Samsung left the local emergency management system in the dark over the leak, the independent Hankyoreh said on Sept. 12, after obtaining transcripts of phone calls between the company and EMS.

The EMS first contacted Samsung about two hours and 15 minutes after the leak. Samsung said, “the situation is over,” declining the EMS’s assistance.  Asked by the EMS whether and where the victims were hospitalized, Samsung answered it would let them know soon—but it did not.

The EMS had to inquire at all area hospitals.  It finally determined the victims’ whereabouts about two hours and 39 minutes after the leak.

On Sept. 10, the police conducted a search warrant at three locations of Giheung plant, now under probe by a 15-member multi-agency taskforce.

Civil Society Reacts

SHARPS and the two organizations, Gyonggi Environmental Forum and the province branch of the Green Party Korea, have formed an ad hoc committee to monitor the aftermath of the CO2 leak.

“We call on the government to determine whether Samsung has implemented safety measures as ordered in special audits over earlier fatal leaks at other Samsung plants in 2013 and 2014,” said the committee in a press conference on Sept. 12.

In the 2013 audit alone of two separate hydrofluoric acid, leaks the government discovered more than 2,000 safety breaches at Samsung and its outsourcers.

 

 

 

 

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