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5 injured in Posco plant explosion

GWANGYANG -- Five employees were injured in an explosion at a plant operated by South Korean steelmaker Posco on Tuesday, fire officials said.

Two explosions occurred within five minutes, starting at 1:14 p.m., at the steelmaker's plant in Gwangyang, 420 kilometers southwest of Seoul.

Five employees working at the plant have been transported to nearby hospitals. The degree of their injuries was not immediately known.


The fire was extinguished at around 2 p.m. after 173 firefighters and Posco safety officials attempted to put out the fire.

Local residents said the explosion affected areas outside the plant. Some said they felt a bridge 100 meters away from the site shaking, while some said metal debris was blasted to roads near the plant.

Fire authorities at one time closed down the bridge out of safety concerns.

While the exact cause of the accident is yet to be determined, it was reported that the explosion abruptly occurred while testing an unused waste heat generator.

Posco and fire authorities plan to investigate the cause of the accident, such as a possible oil leak. (Yonhap)