Death at plant throws Samsung under investigative lens -- report

A worker died at a Samsung semiconductor plant after a 132-gallon tank of hydrofluoric acid started leaking its contents.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

A worker at a Samsung facility in Korea has died after an incident at one of its semiconductor facilities.

According to Korean news service Yonhap, the incident began around 11 p.m. local time last night when a 132-gallon tank of hydrofluoric acid started leaking at the company's facility. At 5 a.m. this morning, 2.6 gallons leaked in gas form. Samsung contacted STI Service, a maintenance company, to fix the leak. One person died from exposure to the acid, while four others were hospitalized.

Yonhap today claims to have spoken to a Samsung spokesperson, who said that the person who died was not wearing a hazmat suit, leading to his death. The other workers had hazmat suits and gas masks on.

The issue has caught the attention of environmental inspectors, who plan to investigate the accident. Law-enforcement officials are also planning to investigate to determine if there was any wrongdoing, according to another Korean site, AsiaE.

According to Yonhap, Samsung is coming under fire for possibly taking too long to report the issue to authorities. In a statement to Yonhap, however, Samsung said that it believed the leak was "minimal." However, Samsung reportedly did not alert authorities until around 3 p.m. local time.

Samsung is one of the leading semiconductor makers in the world, and produces chips for a wide range of companies including Apple. It's not clear what processors were in production at the time of the accident.

CNET has contacted Samsung for comment on the news. We will update this story when we have more information.

(Via The Verge)