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South Korea: Fire In Battery Factory Kills 22, Several Injured

A devastating fire at a lithium battery factory in Hwaseong, South Korea, has resulted in the deaths of at least 22 individuals and left eight others injured. Authorities confirmed on Monday that they had recovered 22 bodies from the site, located 45km (28 miles) south of Seoul, following initial reports of 16 fatalities and three […]

A devastating fire at a lithium battery factory in Hwaseong, South Korea, has resulted in the deaths of at least 22 individuals and left eight others injured. Authorities confirmed on Monday that they had recovered 22 bodies from the site, located 45km (28 miles) south of Seoul, following initial reports of 16 fatalities and three injuries.

Among the deceased were 18 Chinese workers and one Laotian, while the nationality of the remaining victim has yet to be identified, according to fire official Kim Jin-young, citing information from company representatives.

The blaze erupted at the Aricell-operated plant around 10:30 am (01:30 GMT) and was brought under control shortly after 3 pm (06:00 GMT). Earlier in the day, firefighter Kim Jin-young informed local media that over 100 workers were believed to have been on-site at the time, with approximately two dozen unaccounted for.

The fire is believed to have started when several battery cells exploded inside a warehouse. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has directed authorities to deploy all available personnel and equipment to prioritize the search and rescue operations.

Residents in Hwaseong were advised to stay indoors and close windows due to smoke from the fire. Lithium batteries, used in devices such as phones, laptops, and electric vehicles, are known to pose fire risks due to thermal runaway, a phenomenon where they overheat or are punctured.

South Korea is a significant exporter of lithium batteries, home to major industry players like LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, and SK On.

 

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SOUTH KOREASouth Korea FireTDGThe Daily Gaurdian