Samsung is definitely not having the best of days, but when a worker not of its employment dies due to an acidic gas leak because it failed, for some reason or other, to notify the proper authorities, there isn't much chance of it being a good day.
According to Yonhap News Agency
, Samsung's Semiconductor plant in Hwaseong, Korea, suffered a hydrofluoric acid leak at one of its 500 liter (132 gallon) tanks.
Around 1 liter (2.6 gallons) of acid is said to have escaped during two leaks, one at 11 PM yesterday (January 27) and another at 5 AM today (January 28).
The sequence of events hasn't been established yet, and Samsung may get off scot-free if this turns out to be just an unfortunate misunderstanding. Still, a death demands nothing less than a full investigation.
Samsung allegedly called a maintenance firm (STI Service), but did not report the problem to the proper authorities before 3 PM today, by which time a worker from the firm had already died (around 2 PM).
Four other STI workers ended up in the hospital but they, at the very least, have made a full recovery.
Samsung is being investigated for not having reported the problem earlier, and for whether or not this was an attempted cover-up. It isn't clear yet if the law required that such a report be made or not.
That said, Samsung has only commented on the situation by saying that the leak did not reach beyond the company's property, so no residents in proximity to the plant are in any sort of danger.
The investigation will try to also determine if the STI employees were properly equipped with safety gear.
If they were not, Samsung will probably have to prove that it correctly informed the maintenance company of what its team would be getting into, otherwise it would become complicit to the tragedy, willingly or otherwise.
Needless to say, the IT player has assured everyone that it will take all steps necessary to prevent a repeat of this unfortunate event.