Samsung Acid Spill Endangers Residents

The incident that cost one person their life spilled over into the environment

By on February 15th, 2013 07:21 GMT
Back in very late January, we reported on a certain incident that had left a black spot on Samsung's record in Hwaseong, Korea. Now, it is revealed that said incident could have greater ramifications than a small fine.

To provide some background, there was a hydrofluoric acid leak at one of the 500-liter (132 gallon) tanks used by the semiconductor plant in Hwaseong, Korea.

One of the workers from the maintenance firm sent to deal with the situation died, while the others ended up in the hospital.

Samsung subsequently had to pay a fine, albeit a very small one: $1,000 / 740 Euro.

Now, the incident is showing that its ramifications did not stop there. Samsung is dealing with the fallout even now.

According, once again, to Yonhap News Agency, the police have analyzed the CCTV footage taken inside the Central Chemical Supply System (CCSS) and have discovered three or four workers from Samsung’s subcontractor, STI Service, releasing the acid from the plant using a “huge ventilator inside the CCSS.”

“Hydrofluoric acid has been leaked outside of the chip plant after an analysis of CCTV footage taken inside the Central Chemical Supply System (CCSS) of the chip plant,” said leading investigator Song Byung-sun of the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency.

That means that the acid spill was released into the environment, despite that being completely against regulations, not to mention unsafe for the tens of thousands of residents living within 2 kilometers of the Hwaseong plant.

Needless to say, Samsung is facing some rather pointed questions now, especially since it has previously denied the possibility of anything like this having occurred.

The Ministry of Environment and the provincial government of Gyeonggi have launched a probe of their own as well.

Samsung may still be found not to have broken the law though, as there is a clause in the Clean Air Conservation Act that allows contaminated material to be discharged in emergency situations.

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