Wednesday 26 June 2024

Video shows moment multiple batteries exploded at South Korean battery plant

New York Post has the story.

WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT. Surveillance footage shows the moment a deadly fire started at a South Korean battery manufacturer and killed 23 workers on Monday (June 24).

The video shows smoke coming from a stack of lithium batteries.

And in a factory which contained around 35,000 of them, the fire quickly evolved into a huge blaze which then sparked explosions.

The now-gutted structure was in Hwaseong, an industrial cluster southwest of the capital Seoul.

Firefighters with search dogs combed the remains on Tuesday (June 25) and found the body of the last unaccounted-for person, raising the death toll to 23.

The father of one victim, while trying to find the body of his Chinese national daughter, told Reuters she had called the batteries “dangerous” multiple times.

And he said she had recently told him about another fire at the factory.

Most of the victims are yet to be identified because of the intensity of the blaze.

But at least 17 were Chinese and one was Laotian.

Experts say foreign workers in the country face a disproportionate risk of injury and death.

And that they take on dangerous jobs shunned by many young South Koreans.

On Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry said Beijing has called on South Korea to find the cause of the fire as quickly as possible.

The chief executive of the battery maker Aricell apologized for the incident - but said the company had complied with safety rules.

“The company will do its best to deal with this situation and will take on a firm responsibility. In addition, we will sincerely work on the investigation of the relevant authorities and will make every effort to follow up on the exact cause of the accident and prevent recurrence.”

The National Forensic Service, police and the fire department are holding a joint investigation into the incident.

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