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Hydrogen Fluoride Release Kills 5 (CCTV)

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Published on Oct 17, 2012

Damages from toxic gas leak worsen in southern S. Korea

GUMI, South Korea, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- More than 3,000 people have received emergency care for nausea and other symptoms, officials said Sunday, following a disastrous gas leak that also caused widespread damages to crops, livestock and factories in southern South Korea. A total of
3,178 people have been treated for nausea, rashes and other symptoms since the Sept. 27 explosion of a chemical plant that leaked some eight tons of hydrofluoric acid, an acute poison that can damage lungs and bones and affect the nervous system.

Five workers were killed and 18 others were injured in the blast at chemical maker Hube Global at the Gumi National Industrial Complex in the industrial city, about 200 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The gas leak has cost factories in the industrial complex about 17.7 billion won (US$15.9 million) in lost production, officials said. Hundreds of angry villagers in Gumi who suffered after the massive gas leak moved to a safer region with some residents reporting blood in their saliva. About 110 elderly people in Bongsan-ri village evacuated to a facility about 10 kilometers away. "We decided to move because the government overlooked us and did not come up with countermeasures," Park Myeong-seok, the head of Bongsang-ri, told reporters.

About 190 people in nearby Imcheon-ri left their village and moved to a training center for teenage students. An acrid smell still hangs in the air in the two villages, home to some 1,200 people. Villagers accused the government of failing to give proper and timely information about the gas leak, and expressed disbelief over the announcement hydrofluoric acid was not detected in their towns. Crops and fruit on more than 212 hectares of farmlands and orchards have withered, and some
3,200 livestock animals have been drooling heavily or showing symptoms similar to a cold, according to local officials and villagers. The central government, under mounting criticism for poorly handling the disaster at the initial stage of the explosion, is considering designating the affected area as a special disaster zone, a move that would bring extra financial support for the victims.

On Monday, the government will announce the results of its in-depth inquiry into the gas leak, officials said.

Two workers at top of tank lorry for transfer and two worker at ground level for pump repair and one officer at office building close to tank lorry died. See this tragic event unfold with this CCTV footage of the workers on top of the ISO tank connecting air lines to effect the transfer of HF - moments later the HF is released.

Anhydrous HF leaked from the liquid valve as two workers were on top preparing to connect a Anhydrous Hydroflouric ISO Tank for offloading. They accidentally fully opened the quarter turn valve. An estimated 8 tons of HF was released. 5 people including the 2 workers perished, 18 responders, workers, reporter wound-up in the hospital, almost 3000 villagers from 2 villages downwind of the facility were treated for irritation, exposure.

Some pre-report key issues to consider are:

1. Both workers had no chemical protective clothing or SCBA
2. No fall protection


3. Emergency response equipment/systems to mitigate the leak


This has been reported to be the worst chemical accident in Korean history.

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