22 people died in a battery plant fire in South Korea, 18 of them were Chinese.


22 people died in a battery plant fire in South Korea, 18 of them were Chinese.

The fire service announced on Monday that a large fire at a lithium battery factory in South Korea claimed the lives of twenty-two workers, including eighteen Chinese nationals. This was one of the biggest manufacturing disasters to hit the nation in recent memory.

22 people died in a battery plant fire in South Korea, 18 of them were Chinese.

Firefighter Kim Jin-young told the media that more than a hundred personnel were present in the plant when they heard several explosions coming from the second level, where lithium-ion batteries were being examined and packaged.

Twenty-two persons were murdered in the enormous fire that broke out, he claimed, including 20 foreign nationals: 18 Chinese, 1 Laotian, and 1 person whose country was unknown.

It will take some time to identify each body because the majority of them have severe burns, he continued.

He stated that although firefighters had managed to limit the worst fire at the plant and get inside, they were still looking for one more individual who is missing.

“Cooling operations are being carried out by firefighters to stop the fire from spreading to adjacent factories,” Kim stated.

An AFP correspondent observed that dozens of fire engines were parked outside the business, and that rescue personnel were removing bodies from the structure on stretchers while they were wrapped in blue blankets.

After the fire started, Yonhap released pictures of the facility that showed orange flames inside and massive clouds of billowing gray smoke rising into the sky above it.

An estimated 35,000 battery cells were housed on the second floor of the enormous plant, and there were additional batteries there as well.

Conventional fire suppression techniques are unable to control the fast and intense burning of lithium batteries.

Kim described the challenging rescue mission as “difficult to enter due to fears of additional explosions.”

“We (had) determined that spraying water will not extinguish the fire, so we (used) dry sand,” the manufacturer of lithium batteries continued.

Aricell, a primary battery producer based in South Korea, owns the lithium battery facility. Situated in Hwaseong city, it is not far from Seoul, the capital city.

By Monday’s end, shares of S-connect, the parent company of Aricell, had dropped more than 20% on the Seoul exchange. Aricell’s 96% ownership is held by S-connect.

“Mobilize every employee.”
Authorities were given emergency orders by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, instructing them to “mobilize all available personnel and equipment to focus on searching for and rescuing people,” according to his office.

Aside from issuing a warning, the president also advised authorities to “ensure the safety of firefighters considering the rapid spread of fire.”

A series of advisories were sent by Hwaseong authorities to the local populace, cautioning them to remain indoors.

“Fires in factories are the cause of the heavy smoke.” One text notice that was issued stated, “Please pay attention to safety, such as refraining from going outside.”

A factory fire. Another one said, “Please close windows and take a detour along the nearest roadways.

One of the biggest producers of batteries, particularly for electric cars, is South Korea.

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