A total of 36 people were confirmed injured on Wednesday in a chemical plant explosion in South Korea’s southwestern region, Yonhap news agency reported citing the firefighting authorities.
The explosion occurred at about 2:59 a.m. local time in a petrochemical factory of Lotte Chemical in the southwest city of Seosan, South Chungcheong province.
The explosion caused a fire, which was extinguished about two hours later.
Thirty-six people, including factory workers and villagers near the plant, were injured. Among the total, two were in critical conditions as of 10:00 a.m. local time.
The explosion was believed to have been caused by the leak of a compressor pipe to produce petrochemicals from naphtha. The exact cause of the incident was under investigation.
Tens of houses and shopping malls near the factory were affected by the explosion, with windows broken and the exterior walls of some buildings pulled down, according to the report.
Other chemicals produced at the Daesan complex include benzene, ethylene glycols, ethylene oxide, glycol ethers, mixed xylenes, toluene, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and styrene, according to ICIS data.
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.