Japan chemical factory blast kills one man, wounds 11

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

ONE man has been killed and another 11 injured in an explosion and subsequent fire at the Arakawa Chemical Industries plant in Fuji City, Japan.

The explosion occurred at around 08:25 local time on 1 December at the facility which makes resin for printing ink. It is not yet clear what caused the explosion and fire but investigations are already underway. Arakawa Chemical, which makes paper chemicals and printing inks, said that the fire had been extinguished by the fire service. Japan Today reports that 17 fire engines and 60 firefighters attended the scene. All operations at the plant have been suspended.

Three of the workers are seriously injured, according to Arakawa Chemical. Japan Today reports that all of the injured are male and in their 20s–60s. Takahiro Suzuki, a fire service official told AFP that the dead man was 64. Around 100 workers are thought to have been on site when the explosion occurred.

According to the Japan Times, around 50 local people were ordered to evacuate from their homes, although they were allowed to return at around 12:00 when the fire had been extinguished. While what was burning is not clear, an Arakawa Chemical official told Japan Today that that there was no danger.

In a statement, the company extended its deepest condolences to the dead man’s family and apologised to all those affected, including the injured and those in the vicinity of the facility.

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

Senior reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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